In 2014 Pirelli decided to thank Brazil, the country which welcomed them more than 85 years ago, by sponsoring the restoration of Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro. The monument is considered one of the seven wonders of the modern world, visited by over two million people every year and one of the symbols of Brazil.
The fingers and part of the head of the statue were damaged by lightening during a bad storm that disrupted the city. Pirelli then decided to sponsor the project aimed at restoring the monument to all its former glory for the thousands of tourists who travel worldwide to see it. The greatest challenge was to carry out the works without closing the area off to visitors. For this reason, the restoration performed after normal opening hours. The lightening arrester system was expanded to ensure long-lasting protection of the monument. Works were also followed by the Lisbon Civil Engineering Workshop, in charge of inspecting the state of the soapstone mosaic forming the statue.
As sponsor of the two-year maintenance project and to showcase the timeless beauty of the statue, Pirelli and the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro organised the projection of sacred images on the monument on Christmas Eve 2015. The show could be seen from several points across the city. It was truly unique!
You may be wondering what the connection is between a tyre maker and a statue. Christ the Redeemer on Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro is a universal symbol and an icon of Brazil. This restoration was one of the many sustainability and social projects that Pirelli is implementing in Brazil and in other countries worldwide.