Only charred supports remained after the statue was struck by lightning in 2010. Courtesy Cincinnati Enquirer.
MONROE - The massive roadside statue of Jesus at Solid Rock Church lost to a lightning strike and spectacular blaze in June 2010 will be resurrected along Interstate 75 by late July.
Cincinnati sculptor Tom Tsuchiya said crews are expected to begin erecting the 51-foot replica of a traditional Jesus about July 16; the sculpture should be done by July 20.
An 11-foot base of boulders and the steel foundation for the structure have been in place for about a year.
In the next two weeks, Tsuchiya and others involved in the project will begin building seven separate pieces of the sculpture at a fabricating company west of Dayton, Ohio.
They will be trucked in and assembled on-site, he said.
The structure replaces the iconic first sculpture, a waist-up butter-cream-colored replica of Jesus with arms raised high that gained the nickname "Touchdown Jesus."
The latest piece will represent a full-size Jesus with arms outstretched as if beckoning people to him. Tsuchiya is calling it "Lux Mundi," which is Latin for "Light of the World."
It will be constructed of fire-resistant material.
Insurance is paying for the construction, according to church officials. The first sculpture was built for $250,000 in 2004.