Christus (statue)

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The original statue at the Church of Our Lady, Copenhagen.

Christus (also known as Christus Consolator) is a 19th-century Carrara marble statue of the resurrected Jesus by Bertel Thorvaldsen. Since its completion in 1838, the statue has been located in the Church of Our Lady in Copenhagen, Denmark. In the 20th century, images and replicas of the statue were adopted by the leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) to emphasize the centrality of Jesus Christ in church teachings.

Original sculpture[edit]

Thorvaldsen was commissioned to sculpt statues of Jesus and the apostles for the Church of Our Lady in Copenhagen. The statue of Jesus was completed in 1821. The Christus was not well known outside of Denmark until 1896, when an American textbook writer wrote that the statue was "considered the most perfect statue of Christ in the world."[1] The statue is 3.2 metres (10.5 feet) high.[citation needed]

Use by LDS Church[edit]

In the 1950s, LDS Church leader Stephen L Richards purchased a 3.4-metre (11-foot) replica of the Christus and presented it to Church President David O. McKay. In 1966, the statue was placed in the church's Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Utah. The church's second Christus replica was created to be displayed in the church's pavilion at the 1964 New York World's Fair. The display of the replica "was intended to help visitors understand that Latter-day Saints (or Mormons) are Christians".[2]

Since the display of the Christus at the World's Fair and in Temple Square, the church has created replicas of the statue and displayed them in visitors centers near church temples in Hamilton, New Zealand; Laie, Hawaii; Los Angeles, California; Mesa, Arizona; Mexico City; Nauvoo, Illinois; Oakland, California; Palmyra, New York; Portland, Oregon, St. George, Utah; and Washington, D.C.[2][3] Replicas are also on display at LDS Church visitors' centers at the Hill Cumorah and in Independence, Missouri.[3] The LDS Church uses the image of the Christus on its webpages and in other official publications.[3]

Other replicas[edit]

A full-size replica of the Christus is located in The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland; the hospital refers to the statue as Christus Consolator.[4]

In 2009, a six-foot Christus replica was built out of 30,000 white Lego pieces by parishioners of a Swedish Protestant church in Västerås.[5]

Image gallery[edit]


  1. ^ Dunton, Larkin (1896). The World and Its People. Silver, Burdett. p. 126. 
  2. ^ a b Florence S. Jacobsen, "Christus Statue" in Encyclopedia of Mormonism (New York: Macmillan, 1992).
  3. ^ a b c Matthew O. Richardson, "The Christus Legacy", LDS Living Magazine, 2008-02-29; excerpted from Richardson, The Christus Legacy (Sandy, Utah: Leatherwood Press, 2007) ISBN 978-1599920405.
  4. ^ "A Provacative Icon", Dome, vol. 54, no. 10, p. 1 (December 2003).
  5. ^ "Swedish parishioners unveil Jesus Lego statue",, 2009-04-12.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 55°40′46″N 12°34′23″E / 55.67944°N 12.57306°E / 55.67944; 12.57306