Large new statue of Virgin Mary statue planned in Selçuk
DHA PhotoAegean province İzmir’s Selçuk district, home to the House of the Virgin Mary, which is a pilgrimage site for Christians, will soon have a massive statue of the mother of Jesus.
Speaking at a tourism conference, Selçuk Mayor Zeynel Bakıcı said they had rolled up their sleeves for the construction of the structure.
“This will be a magnificent statue like the Statue of Liberty in the U.S. and the Cristo Redentor [Christ the Redeemer] statue in Rio de Janerio. We still have some talks with a few investors for the statue. We will also seek for a place for it. The skirts of the Bülbül Mountains are the most probable place. We are exchanging views with experts for the statue’s structure, appearance and transportation,” said the mayor.
Bakıcı said they had accelerated works for faith tourism after the ancient city of Ephesus was included in the UNESCO World Heritage list last year. He also said Portugal will be home to the first International Faith Tourism Symposium this year, adding, “150 countries will join the symposium. We have made an application for the second symposium to be held in Selçuk.”
“Although Selçuk has the House of the Virgin Mary, it is visited by 2.5 million people a year. But the Portuguese town of Fatima is visited by 5 million people thanks to the rumors that the Virgin Mary had lived there. We need to attach importance to promotion and marketing. This is why faith tourism is very important,” the mayor said.
Selçuk is one of the country’s most visited tourist destinations and nearby Ephesus was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List during the 39th World Heritage Committee in Bonn on July 5, 2015.