Construction begins to replace burned Jesus statue

June 8, 2011 - 12:59 PM

MONROE, Ohio (AP) — Construction has started on a giant Jesus statue to replace one destroyed by lightning in southwest Ohio. And this time, it will have some defense against Mother Nature.

The Solid Rock Church in Monroe says construction began Wednesday on the 51-foot-tall statue. It will show Jesus standing with outstretched arms.

Church officials say the new statue will have a lightning-suppression system. It will have a steel substructure and be finished with a top coat that resembles limestone.

It is replacing a mammoth partial depiction of Jesus from the chest up. That statue had been nicknamed Touchdown Jesus because of the way the arms were raised outward, like a referee's signal.

The Middletown Journal reports that construction of the new statue is expected to be finished by the end of the year.

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Information from: Journal, http://wwww.middletownjournal.com