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Roman public opinion rebels against statue depicting John Paul II

May 20, 2011

A massive statue of Blessed John Paul II, unveiled on May 18 outside the busiest subway station in Rome, has drawn strongly negative public reactions.

The modernistic sculpture by Oliviero Rainaldi shows the Pontiff opening his cloak in what the sculptor calls a gesture of embrace. Critical comments have centered on the awkwardness of that posture and on the face of the statue—which, several Romans have said, resembles Benito Mussolini more than John Paul II.


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  • Posted by: hartwood01 - May. 23, 2011 6:18 PM ET USA

    If you give an artist free rein, you had better know his style, he may make it in his likeness, which with some sculpture, is a little freakish.

  • Posted by: Wild Bill - May. 22, 2011 10:58 AM ET USA

    Creepy doesn't begin to say it. It looks like a child's attempt at an Uncle Fester statue. He kinda got the head done and gave up on the rest. Then he made it great big.

  • Posted by: vpmooney6762 - May. 21, 2011 3:41 PM ET USA

    We were in Rome and saw the statue the same afternoon it was unveiled as our hotel was nearby. At best it is not flattering to JPII. More pointedly it is creepy looking.