A thunderbolt strike broke part of the thumb of the famous statue of Jesus Christ in Rio de Janeiro, located at the peak of the 2325 ft (709 m) hill Corcovado.
Representatives of the Catholic church announced that the restoration of the statue will be carried out in February. The archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro will also take part in the restoration, who has some of the original materials used to build the statue.
The last restoration of the statue was in 2010, costing $4 million.
Back then, heavily damaged sections of the face and hands of the stone Christ due to erosion, were repaired.
According to the data of local meteorologists, the thunderbolt struck after the height of the powerful storm that hit Brazil a few days ago.
According to the National Institute for Space Research (INPE), 40 000 lightning bolts were registered during the storm. This happened over a period of 3 hours, during which the storm felled trees and caused floods in some neighborhoods of the city.
The Brazilian Space Research Institute states that the statue absorbs an average of 4 thunderbolt strikes each year.
The statue was also damaged during a hard-hitting storm last month, when the middle finger of its right hand was broken off.
The 124 ft (38 m) statue of Jesus Christ was built during the period from 1922 to 1931 in France thanks to public donations.
In 2007, the monument was proclaimed as one of the new seven wonders of the world. The statue of Jesus Christ is seen as a symbol of Rio de Janeiro and of Brazil in general.
Millions of tourists head for the foot of the statue each year, where a stunning panorama of the city becomes available.
The creation of the monument was inspired by the hundred year anniversary of the independence of Brazil.
The initial project was developed by the artist Carlos Oswald. He was the man who suggested that Jesus be with outstretched arms, to make the figure appear like a giant cross from far off.
The pedestal of the statue was supposed to represent the Earth but because of its size this became impossible.See more