Rio's Christ loses thumb to lightning

22:27, Jan 18 2014
christ the redeemer
BRING IT ON: The statue is at the mercy of the elements.

Lightning has taken off the thumb from the iconic statue of Christ overlooking Rio de Janeiro.

Officials said the right thumb was chipped, apparently by a lightning strike on Thursday night (Friday NZT).

The middle finger of the right hand had been chipped during a storm last month.

The 38 metre Christ the Redeemer statue sits atop a steep mountain and is often hit by strikes.

The statue underwent a US$4 million renovation in 2010 to repair badly eroded parts of its face and hands.

The Archdiocese of Rio manages the statue. Father Omar Raposo tells Globo Radio that repairs would soon be made.

The church has a stock of the same stone originally used to build the statue, which was erected in 1931, he said.

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AP