Court allows giant statue of Virgin Mary to be built in Brazil

São Paulo State’s Court of Appeals has reversed a 2019 decision that stopped the building of a giant steel statue of the Virgin Mary in Aparecida, the city where Brazil’s major Catholic shrine is located.

The 164-feet stainless steel sculpture portraying Our Lady of Aparecida – taller than Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer – can finally be finished. It was donated in 2017 by the artist Gilmar Pinna to the municipality as part of the celebration of the 300th anniversary of the apparition.

The project includes five small religious statues planted in different parts of the city and the large hilltop monument.

But the work was interrupted due to a lawsuit filed by the Brazilian Atheists and Agnostics Association (ATEA) which claimed that public funds were being used to pay for religious symbols. This is forbidden by the Brazilian constitution.

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