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The statue Christ the King was inspired by a papal call for mementos of the 1900th anniversary of the coming of Christ. The project was begun at the behest of Father Lourdes Costa, pastor of the Smeltertown parish, which covered both the New Mexico and the Texas sides of the Rio Grande. Costa got funding from the Diocese of El Paso to purchase 200 acres (81 ha) from the New Mexico Public Land Office for the statue, and to build a cross. Costa first erected a wood cross, then a steel cross built by the efforts of the Smeltertown parish, on the summit of Cerro de Muleros (now called Mount Cristo Rey), the northernmost peak of the Juarez Mountains, located on the border of the United States and Mexico. Costa, like Soler, was Catalan, and Soler stayed with him while working on the statue.

The statue is 40 feet (12 m) tall including a 9-foot (2.7 m) base and is composed of concrete, steel and Cordovan cream limestone which was quarried near Austin, Texas. The blocks were chosen by Soler and winched up the mountain. Soler carved it on-site with an air chisel. The head of the statue is elongated so that the figure appears of natural proportions when viewed from below. The statue is not technically a crucifix, as the palms of Christ face downward in a gesture of blessing. The statue was completed in 1939 and dedicated in 1940. The diocese ran short of money, but Soler completed the front of the statue with his own funds.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urbici_Soler_i_Manonelles

Uploaded on 07.07.2014 by El Paso Museum of History

Upper Valley / Sunland Park, (2010 - 2019), Cultural Heritage

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Christo Rey Statue on Mt. Chirsto Rey

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