Construction begins to replace ruined Jesus statue

MONROE, Ohio - Construction has started on a giant Jesus statue to replace one destroyed by lightning in southwest Ohio.

The Solid Rock Church in Monroe said construction began Wednesday on the 51-foot-tall statue of a full-standing Jesus with outstretched arms.

The statute outside the church will replace a mammoth partial depiction of Jesus from the chest up. It had been nicknamed Touchdown Jesus because of the way the arms were raised outward, like a referee's signal.

The statue was one of southwest Ohio's most familiar landmarks.

The Middletown Journal reports that construction is expected to be finished by the end of the year.

Church officials said the statue will have a steel substructure and a lightning suppression system. It will be finished with a top coat of acrylic-based aggregate to resemble limestone.

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