With its arms outstretched and head raised to the surface, the bronze statue of Christ of the Abyss is one of the most beautiful diving spots in the world!
The Christ of the Abyss is surely one of the most famous underwater constructions in the world. This gigantic statue, measuring almost 2.5 metres and weighing approximately 260 kg, is made of bronze and represents Christ with his arms open, just like Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro.
The origins of the Christ of the Abyss
The one known locally as Il Cristo Degli Abissi lies at a depth of 17 metres in the bay of San Fruttuoso in Camogli, not far from Genoa in Italy. Nearby is the Abbey of San Fruttuoso in Capodimonte, another local landmark.
This remarkable statue, which attracts many divers every year, is far from being an archaeological relic. The famous diver Duilio Marcante wanted to pay tribute to his late friend, Dario Gonzatti, who was the first Italian diver to use full modern diving equipment. Sadly, Dario died during a dive in 1947 in Fruttuoso Bay.
Duilio Larcante, deeply affected by the sudden death of his diving friend, took a diving equipment and went to sit on a rock on the sea bed of the promontory of Portofino, in the province of Genoa.
He swam for a few moments and thought about this sudden disappearance and the various people who worked and lived by the sea with the risks that it entails on a daily basis. He noticed that there was no symbol or stele for all those who had died at sea.
Duilio Marcante presented his project to the then President of the Italian Sports Centre, Jack Costa, to the religious authorities and received the approval of Pope Pius XII to erect the famous statue of Christ of the Abyss. It was on 22 August 1954, with the help of the Italian Navy, that the statue was placed and inaugurated at a depth of 17 metres.
An underwater tribute
The statue of Christ of the Abyss represents Christ with his arms open in redemption and his head raised to the surface of the water. Today, this statue is THE symbol and monument dedicated to all victims at sea.
Every year, on the last weekend of August, a ceremony is held to remember. The procession takes place at night, by the light of torches only. Divers immerse themselves in the spot where the Christ stands and place a laurel wreath on it.
This statue is an excellent diving spot and is the subject of many underwater visits by divers, as well as anonymous visitors from all over the world who come to the area to pay their respects.
It should be noted that the original statue is made of clay and was abandoned in a foundry in Italy until 1993.
Due to corrosion and the growth of crustaceans, the statue was brought to the surface in 2003 to be fully restored, and also to replace one of its hands that had come loose due to an anchor. It was returned to the water in July 2004 to the delight of divers around the world.
How to dive and see the Christ of the Abyss?
It is possible to dive and swim alongside the Christ of the Abyss thanks to the San Fruttuoso Diving Center.
Source : generationvoyage.fr. Arnaud Boucher.
Main photo credit: Gente di Mare News. Lettera43. Circolosubacqueibiella. wikimedia