January 26 - Brazil wants to erect a giant replica of Rio de Janeiro statue Christ the Redeemer near the summit of Primrose Hill, one of the most exclusive areas in London, to promote the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics, it was revealed today.
The project, funded by the Brazilian Government, has already attracted criticism from local residents, who include actor John Cleese, the singer Morrisey and Ed Miliband, the leader of Britain's Labour Party.
The statue could be as high as 30 foot and would be publicly unveiled towards the end of London 2012 to mark the fact that Rio de Janeiro will be the next hosts of the Games, the Camden New Journal reported.
Primrose Hill raises to a height of 256 feet (78 metres) located on the north side of Regent's Park and offers a clear view of central London to the south-east.
Dalton Warner Davis have been employed as planning consultants and See Me, Hear Me, Feel Me, a Camden-based design firm, are also working on the project.
The original Christ the Redeemer is 130 foot tall, weighs 635 tonnes and is located at the peak of the 2,300 ft Corcovado mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park overlooking Rio de Janeiro.
It was completed in 1931 having originally been suggested by a local priest nearly 80 years earlier.
The plan to build a facsimile in London came to light after a local resident leaked an email they had been sent despite a request that details should remain secret.
The email said: "Due to the high profile nature of the proposals and the Tourism Board of Brasil's (sic) desire to unveil the structure as a surprise at the end of the closing ceremony, we would ask that all correspondence remains strictly private and confidential at this time. We trust that this is acceptable."
The email continued: "The structure that has been selected is iconic in nature and synonymous with Rio. The intention is for a planning application to be submitted in February."
A number of residents claim the plan is unsuitable for the area.
"I do not see why it should go there," Malcolm Kafetz, the chairman of the Friends of Primrose Hill, told the Camden New Journal.
"I think it sounds unsuitable for a piece like this.
"It does not represent anything of England or Primrose Hill.
"Primrose Hill is a place for people to go and enjoy the view.
"I will be bringing this up with the Friends committee."
But not everyone is against the idea.
"I personally would not mind if it was temporary and it depends on what it looks like," said Maureen Betts, the chair of Primrose Hill Community Association.
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