German carmaker Porsche has apologised for removing a famous statue of Jesus from one of its video promotions.
The company was marking 60 years of its famous 911 sports car by producing the video which included one of its luxury cars driving through Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, where one of the city’s landmarks is Cristo Rei (Christ the King), the tallest statue in the country. Premier Christian News reports it was inspired by Rio’s iconic Christ the Redeemer statue.
In the original video, the background behind the car only showed the statue’s plinth. The figure of Christ had been digitally edited out of the promotional video, sparking a massive backlash on social media in the strongly Catholic nation.
Users accused Porsche of being ‘woke’, ‘insane’ and ‘ridiculous.’ Some threatened to boycott the upmarket carmaker, although it’s doubtful they could afford its huge price tags. Others just accepted it as a sign of the times, claiming it was usual practice in television advertisements that contain “any religious landmarks or signage”.
The outcry prompted the carmaker to say sorry and claim the removal of the statue was a “mistake”. It has released an updated version which includes the entire statue of Jesus. The original video has been made private on Youtube and is no longer available to watch.
Cristo Rei was installed in 1959 after ten years of construction to express gratitude to God for keeping much of the city safe during World War II.
The promotional video features the new Porsche 9/11 S/T model which costs A$450,000 and can reach 300kph, although fewer than 2,000 models have been produced. The 911 model has been the identity of the Porsche brand since 1963.