World's Biggest Statue Of Christ Symbolises Church's Power In Poland

04/06/2011 02:26 pm ET | Updated Jun 06, 2011

Anyone wondering whether modern day Poland is still a fervently Catholic country should head to the Tesco in Swiebodzin, near the German border. There, on the rocky hill opposite the supermarket, is the newest, most audacious religious icon in all of Europe, if not the world: a 33-metre high, rather crudely carved statue of Jesus, which volunteers from the town, along with prisoners on day release from the local jail, have been building for the last 10 years.

On a windy day last week, a crane gently swayed as work continued on the concrete folly, the brainchild of a local priest who claims it is the world's biggest statue of Jesus Christ - bigger even than Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, a sore point with the Brazilians who grumble that the Polish Jesus is cheating by standing on a mound.

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