The [Christo Redentor] statue was struck by lightning during a violent electrical storm on Sunday, February 10, 2008 and suffered some damage on the fingers, head and eyebrows. A restoration effort was put in place by the Rio de Janeiro state government and archdiocese to replace some of the outer soapstone layers and repair the lightning rods installed on the statue.
My two cents
I love it when the state takes an interest (a positive one) in the Christian religion. I also find it interesting when religious structures (e.g. statues or churches themselves) transcend their purely religious value and expand towards cultural significance for preservation. There’s that line about preserving the environment for future generations, but let’s not forget about preserving religion for future generations.
I’m not sure if the statue breaks the commandment against making graven images, but for everyone who flies into Rio De Janeiro, I assume they would see the statue’s imposing scale and be reminded of Christianity as they’re touching down.
Wikimedia Foundation. (2012). Cristo Redentor (statue). Available: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cristo_Redentor_(statue). Last accessed 26th Jul 2012.