John Paul II statue – take two

The statue portraying Pope John Paul II
The statue portraying Pope John Paul II
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The city of Rome unveiled a revamped statue of Pope John Paul II yesterday after the first was pilloried by the public and the Vatican.

Artist Oliviero Rainaldi said he was pleased with the rendition, saying it matched his original vision. He blamed workers for a botched assemblage the first time around.

When the 16-feet tall statue was unveiled in May 2011, it was widely criticised by passers-by as looking more like Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini than the Polish pope. A Vatican art critic wrote that it looked like a bomb had landed.

The revisions focus on the pope’s face: he smiles now and has a neck and more defined chin rather than a stern expression on a bowling-ball-shaped head.