Pope Statue No Longer Looks Like Mussolini
Monument reworked to look friendlier
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2012 8:18 AM CST
This combo picture shows sculptor Oliviero Rainaldi's statue of Pope John Paul II before its restoration, left, on Sept. 23, 2011, and at its inauguration after the restoration, in Rome, Nov. 19, 2012.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

(Newser) – Rome was not happy after last May's unveiling of a statue of Pope John Paul II, which many decried as looking more like dictator Benito Mussolini (or, according to others, a Star Trek alien) than the late pontiff. Now the 16-foot bronze statue has been reworked to give it a kinder-looking face and a hint of a neck, the Independent reports. Both the mayor and sculptor Oliviero Rainaldi, who blamed workers for the initial problems, think it looks much better. But, says one local official, "They've made it worse. It looks even more like Mussolini."