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Chocolate replica of Rio's famed statue of Christ on display in Carlton for Olympics

The first Olympic Games to be held in South America are celebrated with a tribute in chocolate to a Rio landmark

The chocolate replica of Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer statue is a centrepiece of Brunetti Carlton's Olympic display.

PHOTO: Courtesy of Brunetti/Des Cipin

By Mark Brolly

August 10 2016A 70-kilogram chocolate replica of Rio de Janeiro’s giant statue of Christ the Redeemer is the centrepiece of a display in the heart of Carlton’s café strip celebrating the first Olympic Games to be held in South America.

The 1.3 by 1.6-metre statue at Brunetti Café in Lygon Street is made entirely of white chocolate and took two of the café’s master chocolatiers, Paola Azzolina and Laure Martinelli, six days to create. They spent 15 hours moulding the face.

Rio’s statue of Christ the Redeemer, constructed between 1922 and 1931 atop Mount Corcovado overlooking the spectacular Brazilian city, is 30 metres tall, not including its eight-metre pedestal, and its arms stretch 28 metres wide.

A 50-kilogram sculpture of Rio – made from milk, dark and white chocolate and a liqueur, Lava della Etna – forms another part of the display. It took Laure, Paola and another of Brunetti’s master chocolatiers, Jessica Sharpe, 10 days to make and features a smaller version of the statue of Christ the Redeemer in its setting on Corcovado, as well as the Olympic rings and other Rio landmarks, including Sugarloaf Mountain, Copacabana Beach and Maracanã Stadium (where the Opening Ceremony was held on 6 August).

Brunetti has its own direct links to the Olympic Games. The store began trading in Faraday Street Carlton in 1985 and was acquired by the Angelé family six years later. Mr Giorgio Angelé came to Melbourne for the 1956 Olympics as a pastry chef with the Italian team and later settled permanently in Australia.

Just over a block to the south of Brunetti’s is Borsari’s Corner, at the junction of Lygon and Grattan streets, where 1932 Italian Olympic cyclist Nino Borsari established an emporium nine years after he won gold in the men’s 4000-metre team pursuit at the Los Angeles Games and later opened a bicycle shop. He used his influence in European sporting circles after World War II to help Melbourne secure the 1956 Games – by one vote over Rio’s great South American urban rival, Buenos Aires. Mr Borsari died in 1996 and the corner site is now occupied by a restaurant but retains the Borsari name – and the Olympic rings.

The Rio Olympic display will be at Brunetti Carlton, 380 Lygon Street, throughout the Games, which end on 22 August (Melbourne time).