Interesting Places: Christ of the Abyss

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Just off the coast of San Fruttuoso of Camogli in Liguria, 18 metres deep into the sea lies the “Cristo degli Abissi,” Christ of the Abyss, a two and a half metre tall statue placed near the spot where Dario Gonzatti, the first Italian to use SCUBA gear, died in 1947.

At the end of July every year, a celebration, including an underwater procession, is held to honour the Christ of the Abyss. A very late evening Mass is held on the beach and a laurel crown is placed at the feet of the statue; the spot is also a popular destination for baptisms and weddings.

Due to increasing amounts of corrosion and the growth of  crustaceans, the statue was removed from the water and restored in 2003. A hand that had been detached by an anchor was also replaced. The statue was returned to the water with a new base on 17 July 2004.

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