The island of Rhodes has presented its ambitious project to revive one of the world’s seven ancient wonders, the giant sculpture of Colossus.
The original statue was erected in homage to the sun god Helios and stood in the harbour area of Rhodes, visible to passing ships. The modern-day wonder will also stand in the harbour and be dedicated to celebrating peace, being built - in part - out of melted-down weapons from around the world.
The project, led by the German artist Gert Hof, will capture the symbolisms of the the ancient monument, but it will not try to copy the original sculpture. The new Colossus has been conceived as a highly innovative light sculpture, a work of art that will allow visitors to physically inspect it by day as well as enjoy - through light shows - a variety of stories it will "tell" by night. It is planned to be the world’s largest light installation, a structure that has never before been seen in any place of the world.
The original Colossus stood 34 metres high before an earthquake toppled it in 226BC, but this modern structure will be between 60 and 100 metres high. The cost has been estimated at around 200 million Euros, but already, international organisations led by the World Trade Centre Association plus a network of exporters who promote peace through trade, have committed to supporting the venture.
In a statement, Yannis Hadzimarkos - president of the Dodecannese Islands' Chamber of Commerce - claimed that, "The new Colossus has been the dream of Rhodians for many years. It will be a marvellous opportunity for the economy of the region even if it is naive to think it will be easy."