The sculpture is 23.3 meters high, with a width of 9.30 meters. Its external structure is made of glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) while internal beams and bars, aimed at reinforcing the external structure, are made of fiberglass material (GRP sandwich) so it can withstand bad weather conditions.
The largest statue of St Charbel.
Height: 23 metres.
Width: 9.3 metres.
Weight: 40 tonnes.
Location: Faraya, Mount Lebanon.
Sculptor: Nayef Alwan.
Funder: Elie Salame.
Asia News: Made by Lebanese sculptor Nayef Alwan, the statue will serve also as reliquary. A fragment of one of the hermit's bone from the convent of St Maron in Annaya will be placed inside during the monument’s inauguration, planned for the feast day of the Cross (14 September) during a ceremony led by the Maronite Patriarch, Card Bechara al-Rahi.
The area around the statue can accommodate up to 6,000 people and thus lends itself to large celebrations or open-air masses.
The monument corresponds to a wish and a vow. The idea of a monument was initially part of the tourist development plans promoted by the head of the Town of Faraya, Mayor Michel Salamé.
However, last year, fate struck his 13-year-old nephew, who bears his name, in the form of meningitis. The boy’s parents believe that a combination of miraculous circumstances – medicines and the intercession of Saint Charbel – played a part in the boy’s fate.
After falling into a coma, he eventually recovered. He underwent two operations on 17 and 20 July 2016, respectively feast day of Saint Charbel and Saint Elias. A pledge by Faraya mayor and the vow of little Michel’s parents led to the joint project.
The statue stands on land that belongs to the Wakf, Islamic charitable endowment, in Mar Challita (Faraya), and was approved by the local bishop and Maronite patriarchate. Most local residents praised the installation.