Italy: The Statue of John Paul II To Be Modified

Source: FSSPX News

The bronze statue of John Paul II, inaugurated on May 18, 2011, before the train station Termini in Rome, will receive a new face.  The Roman municipality decided not to take this statue away, but to “finish it”, reported the Italian media on September 13, 2011.  Indeed, the Italian sculptor, Oliviero Rainaldi, the author of the work, declared to the agency ANSA that he was going to modify the head and neck of his statue of John Paul II, that has been severely criticized ever since its inauguration on the 19st anniversary of the Polish Pope.

This 5-meter-high statue is supposed to evoke the “embrace” given by John Paul II to a child in 1993: an “expressive and symbolic gesture, repeated many times by the Pope, who wished to welcome under his protection the faithful of Rome and of the whole world,” explained the sculptor.  And let us add, in case there be a need, that his concept had been “misunderstood”.

Osservatore Romano had judged that the statue was “not very recognizable” and that it looked like a sort of “open tent,” or “bell” or “hut”, topped off by a head that was “too spherical”.  The Pontifical Council for Culture, for its part, regretted having seen only a preliminary sketch before the final work.

“To replace the statue would be too drastic a measure,” declared the under-secretary Francesco Giro, acknowledging the “generosity” of the artist, who has allowed his work to be modified. (Sources: apic/ansa – DICI#241, October 1, 2011)

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