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Workers scaled a giant statue of a Buddhist goddess in Japan on Tuesday, June 15, to place a custom-made mask on her face.
According to The Japan Times (JT), the act was meant as a prayer for the end of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Four workers and three hours
The onerous feat happened at the Houkokuji Aizu Betsuin temple in Fukushima Prefecture.
Reuters reported that it took four workers, three hours to place the face mask on the Buddhist goddess Kannon – the Goddess of Mercy.
A giant Buddhist goddess statue in #Japan wore a huge #facemask, but the #pandemic seems to be an endless war. 😷🤒pic.twitter.com/xvHfzyMtJF— Auron (@auron83591234) June 16, 2021
The mask, made with pink net fabric and measuring 4.1 meters by 5.3 meters, weighed 35 kilograms.
After hoisting it up the 57-meter-high statue, workers unfurled the mask across the lower half of the statue's face.
Temple manager Takaomi Horigane told Reuters that workers had come up with the idea during discussions on the restoration of the statue following damage caused by an earthquake in February.
Horigane added that they plan to keep the mask on the statue until the Covid-19 situation is under control in Japan.
Japan's current Covid-19 situation
According to JT, the number of coronavirus cases in Japan has declined as vaccinations ramp up, though fears of a resurgence of infections leading into the Tokyo Olympics remain.
A nationwide total of 1,710 new coronavirus cases were reported on Wednesday, June 16, down from more than 7,000 daily at the peak of the fourth wave in May.
JT further reported that the government is set to decide today, whether to end the ongoing state of emergency covering Tokyo, Hokkaido, Osaka and six other prefectures on Sunday.
Kyodo News reported that Japan also plans to move forward with a proposal that will allow up to 10,000 spectators (or 50 percent of a venue's capacity), whichever is smaller, at events in July and August, should the state of emergency be lifted.
Top Image via 福島民報fukushimaminponews Youtube
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