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The Statue of Christ in Rio de Janeiro



The Statue of Christ in Rio de Janeiro
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.56

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    Heitor, soapstone, standing, accessible, completion, Cristo, countryside, deco, republic, contribute, priest, surrounding, fund, million, construction, valley
     content words:    South America, Hunchback Mountain, Spanish Catholic, Pedro Maria Boss, Princess Isabel, Catholic Church, Silva Costa, Paul Landowsky, Modern World, Cristo Redentor


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The Statue of Christ in Rio de Janeiro
By Jane Runyon
  

1     Today, over 11 million people call Rio de Janeiro home. Rio de Janeiro is a city located in the country of Brazil in South America. It is located at the foot of a mountain called Corcovado, the Hunchback Mountain. As far back as the 1850's, Spanish Catholic priests who had settled in the area wanted to build a monument to Christianity on top of the mountain.
 
2     In 1859, a priest named Pedro Maria Boss asked the royal family of Brazil to appropriate enough money for a statue to be built on top of the mountain. He figured that he would have more chance to get the money if he asked for the statue to honor Princess Isabel of Brazil. He also asked that the piece be of a religious nature to honor his Catholic faith. Princess Isabel was not very excited about the idea. She put off making a decision until 1889. By that time, Brazil had become a republic. There was no longer a need to honor a member of the royal family.
 
3     The idea of a statue was forgotten until 1921. At that time, the Catholic Church proposed the idea of a religious statue. The church held a fund raising event asking good Catholics to contribute to a fund to build their statue. They raised enough money to begin work.

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