An artist's impression of the new statue
The President of Panama, Ricard Martinelli, has promised to build the world's tallest statue of the Virgin Mary, reports The Tablet.
The statue of Santa Maria la Antigua, due to be unveiled in Panama City next year to mark the creation of the first South American diocese by Pope Leo X on September 9, 1513, will reach a height of 100m, "taller than the Statue of Liberty", the President declared.
President Martinelli said: "It will be an icon of this city for the 500th anniversary of the discovery of the South Sea and for the first Catholic church on land."
The President said that both public and private funds would be used to finance the project.
STORY Panama builds tallest virgin (Tablet)