Town ready to welcome 'Hug Me Jesus' statue
Right now Jesus is in pieces — seven of them — in a small factory about 70 miles north of Cincinnati.
But sometime in late September, he'll rise again, looming about 63 feet above Interstate 75 at Solid Rock Church in Monroe.
This statue is replacing the iconic sculpture nicknamed "Touchdown Jesus" — a waist-up, butter-cream-colored replica with arms raised high — that burned to the ground after a lightning strike in June 2010.
The new piece will represent a full-length Jesus with arms outstretched as if beckoning people to him.
It already has a nickname, too, according to sculptor Tom Tsuchiya, although its official title is LuxMundi, which is Latin for "Light of the World."
"It's 'Hug Me Jesus,' " Tsuchiya said Thursday. "Some blogger called it that, and I loved it. That's what it's all about — a let's-all-be-friends message. Love one another."Continue reading at www.usatoday.com