Catholic authorities in the southern state of Chiapas inaugurated Mexico's tallest cross, a 64-meter (210-foot) structure with the profile of Christ within it.

The concrete and metal monument, called "El Glorioso Cristo de Chiapas" (The Glorious Christ of Chiapas), is the work of architect Jaime Latapi and measures 34 meters (110.5 feet) across its horizontal portion. It was erected on a hill outside Tuxtla Gutierrez, the state capital.

Participating in building the cross, which weighs more than 100 tons and was financed by the contributions of the religious faithful over more than 10 years, were experts from Mexico's National Autonomous University, or UNAM, who carried out studies on the movement of the tectonic plates affecting the zone.

"Technicians and scientists from UNAM focused on doing soil mechanics studies to guarantee the visitors' safety, (and) they reinforced the foundations to 15 meters (49 feet) below (ground) and now we have a firm structure," explained the president of the foundation organizing the construction, Isabel Aguilera.

Aguilera, the wife of Chiapas Gov. Juan Sabines, noted that state authorities backed the project, which was proposed by the Catholic Church, because "it represented an opportunity to spur tourism in the region."

Chiapas Archbishop Rogelio Cabrera emphasized the example of the effort to build the monument, which "is beyond that of one institution, one Church."

Below the monumental cross is a chapel.