The Christus Statue

Bertel Thorvaldsen Christus Statue

The original Christus created by Bertel Thorvaldsen in all its majesty sits on display at Church of Our Lady, Copenhagen in Denmark. Bertel’s Christus is said to be the “most perfect replica of Christ in the world”.

Bertel Thorvaldsen was born on Nov. 19, 1770 (some accounts say Nov. 13, 1768 ) in Copenhagen, Denmark. His father was an Icelandic woodcarver. Thorvalden’s talent was good enough to help him gain entrance into the Royal Academy of Arts at age eleven. He later traveled to Rome where he would spend the next 40 years of his life studying and teaching.

In the early 1800′s Bertel Thorvaldsen was assigned to create sculptures for the interior of the Church of Our Lady in Copenhagen, Denmark. The assignment included replica’s of Christ and the 12 Apostles. His crowning piece was the Christus placed above the alter. The Christus is believed to have been completed in 1821.

The Christus stands with his hands spread wide welcoming and inviting all to come unto him.

LDS Christus Statue

The Bertel Thorvaldsen Christus statue was adopted by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints with the intent of telling the world that they are Christians. The statue was first introduced to the church by Stephen L Richards, First Councilor to David O McKay.

In 1966 the church commissioned a 11 foot 1 inch (3.4m) statue to be placed in the north visitors center on Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah. A second statue was also commissioned for use at the Worlds Fair in New York City (1964-1965). The Christus replicas were created by, Aldo Rebechi of Florence, Italy. The replica at the worlds fair was later moved to the Los Angeles Temple Vistors Center.

Read more about the Mormon Pavilion at the 1964-1965 Worlds Fair

Today replica’s of the famous Thorvalden Christus statue may be found in other vistors centers including: New Zealand; Hawaii; Mexico City; Washington, D.C.; and Mesa, Arizona. Replicas have also been made in affordable sizes that people may purchase and place in their homes.

Although members of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints do not worship before statues. Many have replica’s of this famous statue in their homes in an outward expression of their faith and belief in the resurrected Lord, Jesus Christ.


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