Sri Lanka surpassed the world record for the tallest artificial Christmas tree on Saturday despite building delays forcing organisers to prune the structure by almost half.
Previously , the record is held by a Chinese firm that put up a 55-meter (180-foot) tree-like tower of lights and synthetic foliage, ornaments and lamps in the city of Guangzhou last year. Organizers said they wanted the tree to help promote ethnic and religious harmony in the Buddhist-majority South Asian island nation.
Cricket legend Arjuna Ranatunga initiated plans to build the record-breaking tree in Sri Lanka’s capital Colombo, but ran into opposition from the Catholic church which said the money would be better spent on charity.
The 73-meter (238-foot) tree, built in capital Colombo, is 18 meters taller than the current record holder, organizers said yesterday.
The tree has cost USD 80,000. The Catholic Church criticized the tree as a “waste of money” and suggested that the funds better be spent on helping the poor.
“This is just to show the world that we can live as one country, one nation,” said Arjuna Ranatunga.