In Genoa people will dive to the statue of Christ

In Genoa people will dive to the statue of Christ
In Genoa people will dive to the statue of Christ
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On July 25 the 55th festival of the professional diving will be held on the outskirts of the Italian city of Genoa. As it should be the main part of the event will be held on the water. At night from the ancient abbey of San Fruttuozo, founded in V century BC, to the sea will leave a solemn procession led by the prior of the abbey. With the sounds of choral singing, with burning torches and candles, it will go to a small bay, where at a depth of 17 meters under water, a bronze sculpture of Jesus Christ, called the Christ from the Abyss ("Il Cristo degli Abissi") is situated. On the shore some priests and swimmers take their seats and boat to the location of the sculpture, where, after holding a ceremony of blessing the sea, divers dive into the sea to fix a wreath at the statue’s head. Among the divers it is considered to be very honorable to participate in the ritual. This ceremony was first held in 1954 at the time of the statue’s installation, and since then has been held annually on the last Saturday of July.

The statue "the Christ from the Abyss" with the height of 2.5 m was created by the Italian sculptor Guido Galleti at the request of the famous diver Duilio Markante, it looks like a figure of the Savior with a raised head and lifted up hands. He looks like asking for the protection for "all people of the sea" fishermen, sailors and divers.

The position of the statue is not selected accidentally; it is here in 1947 during the immersion died a close friend of Duilio Markante - Dario Gonzatti. He was the first of the Italians who began to swim with an aqualung. The Christ from the Abyss was cast from the bronze parts of ships, athletes’ and sailors’ medals, as well as the ship's bells and cannons. Since then, the symbol of all divers has visited more than 2 million of scuba divers.

Now swimming near the underwater statue has become a good omen for local newlyweds who come here on the day of their wedding and boat to the sculpture with the cries of their friends and relatives, "Who swims at the wedding will live happily ever after!"

Date: 12/07/2009


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