The Colossus of Rhodes. It’s one of several topics of interest that the pint-sized grade-school me could expound upon in frightening (and, possibly exasperating) detail. Built between 292 and 280 BC to celebrate the victory of the Greeks over Cyprus, it was modeled after the sun god Helios. Though an earthquake apparently snapped it at the knees within less than 60 years of its completion, breaking it to pieces, it became immortalized in illustrations and legend—as well as being considered one of the “7 Wonders Of The World.”
In 2015, a group of European scientists, architects, and engineers proposed a new, even taller version of the statue to be built in Greece, serving as a museum, library, and cultural center. The statue would also hold a light beacon that can be seen for 34 miles away directly over its head, and be covered in/exclusively powered by solar panels—both elements quite appropriate for the God of the Sun.
The team claimed to be also taking into account such factors as earthquakes, wind gusts, and other such natural disasters that might plague a statue of such unique construction.
One thing to note: the designs in the “Colossus” project video shows a figure with his legs wide apart, straddling the harbor. It is widely believed, however, that such a portrayal of the statue was a myth, and rather it was instead standing on a pedestal in a far more modest position.
Comparisons between the Colossus and the Statue of Liberty are sort of inevitable. The two were comparable in height: Colossus at 98.4 feet tall and Liberty at 111 feet, 6 inches. And the poem “The New Colossus,” by Emma Lazarus, is reproduced inside the pedestal of Liberty.
Then there is the Titan of Braavos from Season 4 of Game Of Thrones, clearly a tribute to the once-mighty Colossus.
While talk of reviving the statue had been going on since 2000, Greece’s economic downturn may have fast-tracked the project in 2015—possibly hoping that the Colossus would bring in millions of much-needed euros.
But I haven’t been able to find any updates online about the project since then. ColossusRhodes.com seems to be a parked url, and only a few spam sites carry new posts with scraped old news about the project.
Will the Colossus of Rhodes ever be rebuilt? And in a world obsessed with sequels (as well as immersive big-budget theme parks), will we see even more of the “7 Wonders” rebuilt for the tourist crowd in the future?
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