Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — Rio used cutting-edge technology to transform the giant 125-foot Jesus statue into a doctor to honor healthcare workers on the front lines battling the coronavirus.
With churches and other houses of worship closed to maintain social distancing measures, Brazilian archbishop Orani Tempesta conducted an Easter service at the feet of the Christ the Redeemer statue overlooking Rio de Janeiro — and projected a special message onto the statue.
After a Mass on the top of the Corcovado Hill where the statue is located, images were projected on the Christ the Redeemer statue showing it dressed as a doctor, and covered in the flags of countries worldwide, along the word “Thank you” in different languages. Messages of hope and unity were projected onto the statue.
For the second time since the coronavirus escalated to a global pandemic, the statue appeared illuminated with images of the flags of countries hardest hit by the virus, including the United States, China, Spain, Italy, and Brazil, and the words “hope,” “thanks,” and “stay home” written in various languages.
The statue, depicting Christ with outstretched arms, was also dressed up in a doctor’s scrubs, lab coat, and stethoscope as a tribute to the healthcare workers on the front line of the pandemic. Projected images of doctors and nurses also intermittently appeared on the figure, putting individual faces to that vital workforce.
The images that lit up the sky provided a different message than the one that Brazil president Jair Bolsanaro has been amplifying. Over the weekend, he scoffed at social distancing measures, telling local media outlets “No one will hinder my right to come and go.”