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Creating a Granite Holy Redeemer Sculpture

HGH Granite has collaborated with the Catholic Cemeteries of the Diocese of Hamilton for many years, supplying granite for various memorial projects.

These include two Mother and Children sculptures, for the Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Cemetery in Stoney Creek, ON, and the Holy Family cemetery in Milton, ON; alongside the St Michael sculpture, also commissioned for the Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Cemetery in Ontario.

So when we were asked to help with the creation of a similarly distinguished monument for the Holy Cross Cemetery in Paris, Ontario – a Holy Redeemer sculpture – we were happy to help.

Christ the Redeemer Statue, Rio de Janeiro

The making of a Granite Holy the Redeemer Statue


Inspired by a monumental great

Does the Holy Redeemer sculpture look familiar to you?

If so, that’s because it was inspired by the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, that stands atop the Corcovado mountain. That piece was designed by French sculptor Paul Landowski and constructed by Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa and stands at an impressive 98-feet high.

Our client wanted to create its own version of this famous statue for its cemetery grounds. And so work got underway.

This involved: working from photos of the Rio sculpture, discussing dimensions, granite type, the size and style of the plinth – to our artist producing sketches and clay models. (After which followed the processes of 3D scanning, carving with both robotic milling equipment and by hand, polishing, engraving and the final installation, which we’ll come to later in this blog.)

Granite Holy Redeemer Statue

Challenges along the way

The journey to bring the Holy Redeemer statue to life was not without its hurdles.

This began with some initial misgivings from the client regarding some of the physical features on our prototype model, which was created to spec. The client wasn’t sure about the sculpture’s facial features – citing that they looked ‘too gaunt’ – or the statue’s arms, which they believed were too straight.

So the artists went away and made some modifications, and returned with a more naturalistic iteration, in which the arms became more bent, the chin less pointy, the eyes less gaunt. We went back and forth a few times, making incremental changes, before we got the final go-ahead from the client.

For the final iteration we sourced Imperial grey granite, and then the expert artisans sculpted each detail of the figure with precision, blending traditional techniques with modern technology.

Granite christ the redeemer sculpture

Perfecting the physical features of the sculpture wasn’t our only obstacle.

Practical considerations of working with large sculptures

Initially envisioned as a singular, towering structure, we faced further roadblocks due to the statue’s huge dimensions: 10 feet wide and 14 feet tall, to be precise.

We were left pondering: how on earth do we manufacture, transport and install a sculpture so huge?

Large Granite Christ the Holy Redeemer Statue

Finding a workable solution

We decided to divide the statue into two pieces – the bottom half and plinth; and the top half from just beneath the shoulders upwards. This would allow for practical installation *and* preserve the sculpture’s grandeur.

Take a look at the two pieces being installed (on a very clear blue day) below.

Installing granite holy redeemer statue in cemetary

Onto the next stage

The installation process itself required precision planning and expert execution.

Using one of our expert crane contractors, we carefully hoisted the piece into place in its serene new setting. We were very grateful the weather was on our side.

Unveiling the finished piece

The sculpture was unveiled to the public in November 2023 – and we’re happy to report that, despite the initial challenges, the finished piece surpassed the client’s expectations. And ours.

A symbol of grace, strength and serenity, this Holy Redeemer sculpture may have been inspired by a famous Brazilian monument, but we believe it has a majesty all of its own.

Christ the Redeemer Granite Sculpture in Ontario

Have you got an upcoming granite project?

At HGH, we pride ourselves on sourcing the finest granite and providing the best service to our valued clients. Whether you’re working on a public monument or an architecture project, our team – and their many years of expertise – is at your service!

Get in touch with us today.

Did you know that we at HGH Granite have been providing granite services all over Ontario for the last 90 years?

Our vision and business model have helped build a loyal customer base that relies on our expertise and quality workmanship. Over the years, our team has grown with like-minded individuals that share the same passion for providing outstanding granite products and services. Let us help build you your vision.