KARACHI: The splendid Christ the King monument blessed after being restored.
Following, renovation and restoration to its earlier glory, the glorious Christ the King monument at the way in of the St Patrick’s Cathedral blessed by Archbishop Edgar Pena Parra. This 82-year-old monument can be seen even from the hind part of Shahrah-i-Iraq.
Archbishop Edgar Pena Parra, Apostolic Nuncio to Pakistan blessed this sublime monument after finalization of extensive restitution work. The Vatican envoy said, “I pray for each of you, especially those who supported you in the renovation work of the monument to Christ the King and for their families, as well as the elderly people and the children and young people of the Archdiocese. May this jubilee deepen your faith in God’s unconditional and caring love for you and every person. And may it strengthen your hope amid difficulties and renew your commitment to love your neighbours as yourself in active charity and witness to the truth in this beloved land of Pakistan.”
The idea of this monument’s construction was visualized in 1927 however, Fr Vincent Gimenez SJ monitored the construction work which was completed in 1931 with an over all cost of 81,500 Rupees. M.X. Andrade designed this magnum opus opting for marble imported from Carrara mines in Italy to be used for its construction. However, due to the getting higher water table, weather conditions and predominantly lack of repairs over the years resulted in deterioration of the Christ the King monument.
Citing an obvious wear and tear in this monument a meeting was called on Jan 30, 2012, which ended up in setting a committee including historians architects, engineers and conservationists to take on the restoration and maintenance of the monument. For this cause, the instrumental role of the NED University of Engineering and Technology’s department of architecture and planning is praise worthy. After being restored brilliantly, the monument was handed back to the Rector of the Cathedral. The restoration project was finally completed at a cost of 8.5 million Rupees.
Michael Ali, a media spokesperson said, “The money for restoration by and large was met through donations of the local Catholic community including those settled abroad. The Sindh government also announced a grant of Rs10 million for this purpose. The amount leftover is now being turned into an endowment fund the profits from which will be used for the maintenance of the monument.”