104 Feet of 500 Years Of Honor

09 Aug 2013

Soon, ships passing through the Panama Canal will experience a 104 feet high image of the Virgin de Santa Maria Elena as another spectacular landmark of Panama. As a addition: with the help of special lighting, the portrait will then also be reflected onto the water surface. Some call the effigy, which will be placed on a six feet high pedestal on the Amador Causeway, a testament to forward thinking artistically.

Originally designed as part of the reconstruction of the Cinta Costera, a Brazilian artist, Felix Sampaio, was commissioned to form the Virgin Mary made of special fiberglass, along with baby Jesus in her left and a rose with a bright light in her right hand. So the plans for the huge statue of Panama's patron saint, that will be overlooking the bay of Panama, are finally taking shape.

It is a proof for the belief of the Panamanian government towards Panama's cultural evolution that the 1.4 acres of land, which are estimated at a value of $ 5,600,000, have been contributed by the Ministry of Economy and Finance. Various unnamed private companies have also been involved in the financing of the project, as Panama's Archbishop José Domingo Ulloa notes. Furthermore, he adds, a dedicated bank account has been set up to allow faithful Catholics and of course all other patrons further financial donations.

Responsible for both technical plans, as well as for the construction of the base is the Brazilian construction company Odebrecht, Norberto. Start of construction is on 9 September, the 500th Anniversary of the founding of the first diocese in South America. Construction is expected to be completed in seven months.

For everyone who admires the Canal as much as we do, it will also be a symbol of honor towards all the people that perished (some 30.000) in the course of constructing the canal, which started in 1880 under the French and completed by Americans opening it officially Aug 15, 1914.




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