A statue of Pope John Paul II that some critics said looked more like Benito Mussolini, has been unveiled in its revised form. Sculptor Oliviero Rainaldi expressed satisfaction with the final version of the work, which he said, matched his original vision.
He blamed workers for a botched assemblage the first time around. The bronze statue’s face now appears less stern. And some efforts have been
made to give the figure a neck. The mayor of Rome, Gianni Alemanno, hailed the changes to the statue, which
rises from the flower beds outside the city’s main Termini train station.
Not everyone was convinced, however. “They've made it worse,” said Fabio
Sabbatani Schiuma, a Rome city councillor. “It looks even more like
Mussolini.” When the five-metre bronze monument was unveiled in May last year, many
people were aghast.
The abstract rendering featured a heavy-set head on a minimalist, billowing
cloak, which was intended to symbolise the late pontiff’s willingness to embrace
his flock., But the statue’s tent-liked form, squashed facial features and bullet-shaped
head did not go down well with church or layman.