Dubai: While many would search online for wallpapers and images of Jesus Christ on special occasions like Christmas, this Indian expat has one of the largest collections of Christ’s images on the wall of his Dubai accommodaton.
Lorence Maman Neriamparampil, 45, proudly owns a collection of over 25,000 unique pictures of Jesus. He has displayed all of them in a massive fabric banner measuring 33x8 feet on the wall of his apartment in Al Ghusais.
Hailing from the south Indian state of Kerala, Lorence was born in a family with strong connections with the Catholic Church, with 10 priests and 31 nuns belonging to the family.
“We had the rare privilege of Mother Teresa visiting our ancestral home. My family has built a church as an offering in my name in Eenthumkari village in Kannur district,” Lorence, a Dubai resident for 15 years, told Gulf News.
His cousin, Fr. George Alumkal, who has a mammoth collection of crosses and statues and figurines of Jesus and Mother Mary in Kerala, was the inspiration for Lorence to start a collection of Christ’s images. That was when he was just 20.
Twenty five years since then, Lorence has collected photos of Jesus from various countries through relatives and friends. He has also snapped many of them from many places of worship.
The most laborious task was, however, to take away the repetitive images and combine the rest of them all together in one frame.
“It was indeed a Herculean task,” said Lorence. To make sure the images in the collection are not repeated, he said he got them displayed on a 75-inch TV with his friends at a hypermarket near his home.
“That was a big help for me. Also, I cannot thank enough my graphic designer friends Vivek, Taju, Abdul Raheem, and Viju who worked tirelessly for making this huge banner with all the images with good clarity and without repeating a single one.”
While all 25,000 images are printed in 2x3 inch size, another banner displays a combined image of his favourite 2,000 pictures in 4x5 inch prints.
With Pope Francis scheduled to visit the UAE in February, Lorence wishes to show his collection to the Pope. “I am sure he will be delighted to see this. Even on Google, I couldn’t find more than 4,000 images of Christ together in one place.”
He also wishes to apply for Guinness World Record for the feat.