Superpope Graffiti Appears on Street in Rome, Then Quickly Disappears

Tue, 02/04/2014 - 08:25

On the same day Rolling Stone pop culture magazine published its issue with Pope Francis on the cover, a mural artist in Rome depicted the pontiff as Superman on a wall near Vatican City, and titled it “Superpope.”

In the style of a superhero, Francis is portrayed ready to take flight, rosary around his neck, clutching his black briefcase of values (the word "Valores" was written on the bag).

“It took me longer to find the right wall where to post it than to draw it,” said the mural’s artist Mauro Pallotta, a painter by profession. “I never had any doubts about the area, which had to be Borgo Pio, the papal neighborohood par excellence. I was born and raised here, and now everybody here adores Francis. Because of the empathy he’s able to create around himself, the Pope is very pop, and I wanted to depict him through an expression of popular cullture like the comic strip. The superpowers I’ve gifted him with represent the enormous power at his disposal, which he uses - the only leader in the world - to do good. It is the only one who does what he says and says what he does.”

The mural, which drew great popular interest in the neighborhood and online, where it went viral, could be seen on the wall in Via Plauto, at the corner with Borgo Pio, only until last Thursday. That day in fact, in what was perhaps the quickest ever illegal urban decoration removal, city officials scraped it off. Notice most street graffiti go usually ignored by decorum police for years.