Unknown to many, the statue of Christ the Redeemer of Maratea is the tallest sculpture in Italy. With a height of over 70 feet (21 meters), it’s one of the tallest statues of Jesus in the world.
Before the statue, a memorial iron cross had stood atop the mountain since 1907. But it was often hit by lightning and subsequently damaged, so it was replaced in 1941 by a concrete cross.
The idea to create this statue came to Italian entrepreneur Count Stefano Rivetti di Val Cervo after a trip to Brazil. The project was realized by Florentine sculptor Bruno Innocenti and was built in the early 1960s near the Basilica di San Biagio.
The face of this Christ the Redeemer is vastly different from the classic iconography of Jesus, as it has short hair and a short beard. The arms are wide open and are slightly bent at the top, with the right arm slightly higher than the left one. From a distance, it’s hard to tell which direction the statue is actually facing. In fact, many think that the statue faces the sea, when in reality it faces the mountains of Basilicata.