Lightning damages Christ the Redeemer statue

Finger taken off

The iconic statue of Jesus overlooking Rio de Janeiro, one of the city's most recognisable landmarks, has lost a thumb tip to lightning, local newspapers reported, according to ABC Online.

Christ the Redeemer, the giant monument and tourist magnet that looms above Rio, atop nearby Mount Corcovado, was damaged in a huge storm on Thursday night, O Globo newspaper reported on its website.

Standing at 38 metres - pedestal and all - the statue was named in a 2007 global poll as one of seven new wonders of the world.

Site caretaker Father Osmar Raposo said the giant concrete figure that juts from the mountain top some 710 metres above Rio's beaches would undergo repair next month.

O Globo broadcast helicopter images of the statue on its G1 web portal, showing part of Christ's right thumb missing.

FULL STORY Lightning costs Rio de Janeiro's iconic Christ the Redeemer statue tip of thumb (ABC)