A new sculpture of John Paul II has been revealed outside of Rome’s central train station and a disappointed Roman public is clattering to have it removed as soon as possible.
The 16-foot bronze sculpture was meant as a tribute to the late pontiff, unveiled on what would have been his 91st birthday. When the sculpture was put on display on the 18th May, the consensus was clear: get rid of it.
Artist Oliviero Rainaldi’s vision of the late pope has been widely criticized. The abstract base of the sculpture is meant to symbolize the pontiff’s cloak, open as John Paul II offers shelter to those in need. But the public is more concerned with how little resemblance the face bears to the man himself. In fact, many critics have pointed out that the statue’s head looks more like Mussolini than John Paul II.
The Vatican approved initial sketches, but the modernist sculpture has left something to be desire. The Catholic Church praised the idea, but added that it was "hardly able to be recognized," and that was “the statue’s sin”