Christus is an 1833 white Carrara marble statue of the resurrected Jesus by Bertel Thorvaldsen located in the Church of Our Lady, an Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark in Copenhagen, Denmark. It was commissioned as part of a larger group, which includes 11 of the original 12 apostles and Paul the Apostle (instead of Judas Iscariot).

The original white Carrara marble statue, completed in 1833, in the Church of Our Lady in Copenhagen, Denmark

The statue has been widely reproduced; images and replicas of it were adopted by the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) in the 20th century to emphasize the centrality of Jesus in its teachings.

Original sculpture edit

The Church of Our Lady was destroyed by fire in September 1807 from bombardment by the British Royal Navy during the Battle of Copenhagen in 1807, part of the Napoleonic Wars. When the church was being rebuilt, Thorvaldsen was commissioned in 1819 to sculpt statues of Jesus and the apostles, a baptismal font, other furnishings, and decorative elements. A plaster cast model was supplied for the church's consecration on June 7, 1829, with the finished white Carrara marble statue replacing it in November 1833.[1] The statue is 11-foot-4-inch (3.45-meter) tall.[2]

The inscription at the base of the sculpture reads "Kommer til mig" ("Come unto me") with a reference to the Bible verse Matthew 11:28, in which Jesus is depicted with His hands spread, displaying the wounds in the hands of His resurrected body. The original plaster cast model is on display in the Thorvaldsen Museum in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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LDS Church use edit

Stephen L Richards, an apostle and first counselor to church president David O. McKay in the First Presidency, purchased a replica of the Christus the late 1950s and gifted it to the church. It was completed by the Rebechi Aldo & Gualtiero studio and made from white Carrara marble from Pietrasanta, Tuscany, Italy in April 1959. It arrived in Salt Lake City, Utah in June 1959. It was placed in the unfinished North Visitors' Center on Temple Square in Salt Lake City in 1962, and was unveiled in 1967. It is 11-foot-0.25-inch (3.36-meter) tall and weighs 12,000 pounds. In preparation for the demolition of the North Visitors’ Center, the replica was removed in November 2021 and placed in storage for conservation. Its final home has not yet been disclosed. In December 2019, another replica (8-foot-tall) was placed across the street in the Conference Center.

A second Christus replica was sculpted by the Rebechi Aldo & Gualtiero studio to be displayed in the LDS Pavilion at the 1964 New York World's Fair. It was an exact duplicate of the Salt Lake City replica being 11-foot-0.25-inch (3.36-meter) tall and weighing 12,000 pounds. Its display "was intended to help visitors understand that Latter-day Saints are Christians".[7] After the World's Fair ended on October 17, 1965, the replica was shipped from New York to the Los Angeles California Temple visitors' center on November 21, 1966.

The church commissioned the Rebechi Aldo & Gualtiero studio to sculpt a third replica of the Christus statue for the Expo 1970 in Osaka, Japan. It was 9’6” tall and weighed 10,000-11,000 pounds. After the expo ended on September 13, 1970, it was stored in a warehouse in Japan for six years. It was then shipped from Japan to New Zealand in March 1977. The renovated Hamilton New Zealand Temple visitors' center reopened with it inside on August 4, 1977.

Since then, the church has created replicas of the statue and displayed them in temple visitors' centers at the Laie Hawaii, Mexico City Mexico, Washington D.C., Oakland California, St. George Utah, Idaho Falls Idaho, Nauvoo Illinois, Palmyra New York, London England, Portland Oregon, Paris France, São Paulo Brazil, Provo City Center,[7][8] and Rome Italy temples, with the statue in Rome also accompanied by replicas of Thorvaldsen's twelve apostles.[9]

Replicas are also displayed in the visitors' centers in Nauvoo, Illinois, the Hill Cumorah in Palmyra, New York, and Independence, Missouri. Other replicas are displayed in the church's meetinghouses in Hyde Park in London, Garðabær, Iceland (2000), and Copenhagen, Denmark.

On April 4, 2020, church president Russell M. Nelson announced a new symbol for the church, featuring an image of the Christus as the central element, placed above the church's name.[10] The church uses the image on its webpages and in other official publications.[8]

Image gallery edit

See also edit

Notes edit

  1. ^ Taylor, Scott (2017-03-30). "The story behind the statues in the Rome Italy Temple Visitors' Center". Deseret News. Retrieved 2020-06-24.
  2. ^ Villadsen, Ole (1999). Billeder og billedkunst. Gyldendal. p. 102. ISBN 87-00-33896-6.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Swedish parishioners unveil Jesus Lego statue", NBC News, AP, 2009-04-12, archived from the original on 2013-10-21
  5. ^ "Pictorial Map and Visitor's Guide to Forest Lawn Memorial-Park, Glendale, California".
  6. ^ Roylance, Lindsay (December 2003), "A Provocative Icon", Dome, 54 (10), Johns Hopkins Medicine: 1, archived from the original on 2013-12-03
  7. ^ a b Jacobsen, Florence S. (1992), "Christus Statue", in Ludlow, Daniel H (ed.), Encyclopedia of Mormonism, New York: Macmillan Publishing, pp. 273–274, ISBN 0-02-879602-0, OCLC 24502140
  8. ^ a b Richardson, Matthew O. (February 29, 2008), "The Christus Legacy", LDS Living Magazine, archived from the original on 2014-05-13. Excerpted from: Richardson, Matthew O. (2007), The Christus Legacy, Sandy, Utah: Leatherwood Press, ISBN 978-1599920405, OCLC 157000118
  9. ^ "The Rome Italy Temple Visitors' Center: Teaching the Gospel in Direct Sight of the Temple – Church News and Events".
  10. ^ The Church's New Symbol Emphasizes the Centrality of the Savior, 4 April 2020

External links edit

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