A New Plan to Build a Bigger—and Better—Colossus of Rhodes


In ancient Greece, a staggering statue loomed over the city of Rhodes. Fashioned from iron and bronze, the nearly 100-foot figure of the sun god Helios was erected sometime in the late third century after Rhodes successfully fended off an invasion by Cyprus troops. The Colossus of Rhodes was known far and wide as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Although an earthquake later toppled the structure, it’s still remembered by historians as one of the Mediterranean civilization’s most important cultural legacies.

According to Hyperallergic, various architects have wanted to rebuild the Colossus over the years. In 1999, the city hoped to rebuild the statue and finish it before the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Less than 10 years later, German artist Gert Hof envisioned a similar project. Now, GOOD magazine reports, a team comprising architects, engineers, an archaeologist, and an economist, from Greece and elsewhere, are proposing a brand-new twist on the famous figure: a 500-foot Colossus containing a cultural center, library, exhibition hall, and lighthouse, among other features.

Called the Colossus of Rhodes project, the ambitious undertaking aims to create new jobs, attract tourists, and serve as a source of inspiration for a generation of unemployed young professionals, whose ambitions were hindered by the country’s recent recession.

The new Colossus would have an equally colossal price tag—about $250–280 million USD in crowdfunded donations and investments. It would take about three or four years to finish, and would be built to survive earthquakes and winds, lest it meet the original’s fate. Fittingly, the statue would also be covered in gold solar panels—a detail that's equal parts environmentally friendly and homage to Helios. While the Olympic-worthy venture is still in the theoretical stages, you can learn more about the project's vision in the video above.

[h/t GOOD]