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Christ statue in Peru damaged by fire days before pope…

LIMA, Peru (AP) – A giant Christ statue in Peru’s capital city has been damaged by a fire days before Pope Francis is set to arrive in the South American nation.

Peruvians awoke Saturday to find nearly the entire back of the statue charred black.

A spokesperson with Peru’s firefighting corps told RPP Noticias 24 that the cause is still under investigation.

The statue is a replica of the famous Christ the Redeemer Statue in Rio de Janeiro and was donated by Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

Odebrecht is at the center of Latin America’s largest corruption scandal, which has embroiled several of Peru’s most prominent politicians.

President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski narrowly survived an impeachment vote in December over his ties to the company.

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