After delays caused by strong winds, a towering crane lifted the massive piece and very slowly placed it onto the lower part of the figure’s body. Later in the day, workers hoped to finish assembling the statue by hoisting the head.

The statue is the creation of a retired local priest, Rev. Sylwester Zawadzki. Many local residents and business people in Swiebodzin say they hope it will put their town of 22,000 on the map for Roman Catholic pilgrims and bring in money to their community.

“I’m thrilled,” said Emilia Zoladz, a 58-year-old economist watching the statue being assembled as she took cover from chilly drizzle at a shopping center across the street.

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