Interstate highway Jesus drawing stares and questions

KANSAS CITY — It is 25 feet tall, weighs 4 tons and overlooks Interstate 35 near Liberty, Mo. And for two months, thousands of motorists have driven by, wondering what it is.

Slow down and you'll see it is a steel statue of Jesus.

Yet it's not near a church, it doesn't look like a monument, and it almost appears as if it's in someone's backyard.

It's baffling.

"I just thought it was massive, and it just caught my eye as I drove by," said Patricia Downey of Lathrop. "I wondered about the significance about it and who owned it."

Some people barely have noticed it, while others have stopped to stare. One woman complained that it is lowering the value of her home, while others have commented on how beautiful it is.

For some, it is holy.

"Lots of people will come and pray in front of the statue," said John Harrison, spokesman for Divine Mercy LLC, a development company. The company owns the statue, the land it stands on and the duplexes nearby. "Some people will just gaze at it. It's not quite a billboard, but it certainly has a message."

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