The landmark Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro is closed to the public:
Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue, which appears to balance improbably atop Corcovado mountain, has withstood the worst of what the elements could muster for nearly nine decades. Now it, too, is succumbing to the outbreak of the new coronavirus.
The 125-foot-tall statue, which last year saw almost 2 million visitors, closed at day-end Tuesday and won’t reopen for at least a week. To contain the virus’ spread, Brazil’s Chico Mendes Institute on Tuesday ordered the closure of all national parks it oversees, including the one that’s home to the Christ.
At the foot of the statue throughout the overcast afternoon, the last selfie-snapping tourists were still allowed to gather on the lookout that offers a panoramic view out over the so-called Marvelous City.
…Tour guides – along with many others – said they were concerned about the impact closing down Rio’s main tourist sites will have on their livelihoods.
“We have to count on the hope that we can find a family that wants to walk around and do something at least, so we can earn something this month,” Alexandre Faria Carbonelli said in the plaza beneath Sugarloaf’s cable car. “For guys who work autonomously, don’t have savings, have a family, it’s kind of desperate.”
At the Christ, Rio’s Catholic archdiocese is planning a light show for Wednesday night, projecting the flags of nations afflicted by Covid-19 upon the isolated statue.
Check out the light show below — an act of solidarity and hope for a troubled world.