New JP2 statue causes storm

A statue of Pope John Paul II unveiled yesterday in Rome has sparked a wave of criticism.

In an internet survey, 87 percent of the readers of leading newspaper paper Il Messaggero indicated that they did not like the work, Polish News reports.

The five-and-a-half metre high bronze sculpture was created by noted Italian artist Oliviero Rainaldi and was unveiled outside the city’s main Termini railway station to mark what would have been the Polish pontiff’s 91st birthday.

One of the central criticisms is that there is very little resemblance to the late pope in the face depicted by Rainaldi.

The inspiration for the sculpture was a 1993 photograph in which the pope engaged in one of his characteristic flourishes of humour. Whilst standing on the steps of the Paul IV Audience Hall in Rome, the pontiff swept his mantle around a child sitting beneath him, in pantomime style.

L’Osservatore Romano also criticized the statue.

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Controversial JP II statue unveiled in Rome (News from Poland)

Dismayed Vatican slams giant sculpture depicting John Paul outside Rome train station (Washington Post)

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Rome unveils statue of John Paul II for his 91st birthday (Rome Reports)