Rio's famous Christ statue faces bigger rival

A little-known Brazilian farming town with sugar cane wealth is set to upstage Rio de Janeiro by erecting a statue of Christ that will eclipse its famous equivalent atop Rio's Corcovado mountain.

The Christ statue in Sertaozinho, northwest of Sao Paulo city, will be 57 metres tall when perched on its 39-metre pedestal, Brazilian daily newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo said Tuesday.

Rio's iconic statue overlooking the beach-side city measures up at 29.9 metres high, but its much shorter pedestal gives it a total height of just 38 metres.

"Far from a pretense of grandeur, we're thinking about visibility," said Nerio Costa, mayor of the town 206 miles from Sao Paulo which hopes to inaugurate the 1.5 million reais (A$954,000) structure at Easter.

But those suspicious that Sertaozinho, with a population of just over 100,000, is trying to rival the country's top tourist city can cite other evidence.

The agricultural town also boasts a lake-side artificial 160 square-metre beach built at a cost of 8 million reais, Folha said.