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

(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."

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)
A giant bronze sculpture portraying Pope John Paul II is displayed outside Rome's Termini train Station, Friday, May 20, 2011.   (AP Photo/Marco Guerrieri)
A giant bronze sculpture portraying Pope John Paul II is displayed outside Rome's Termini train Station, Friday, May 20, 2011.   (AP Photo/Marco Guerrieri)
In this photo taken on Sept. 23, 2011 bronze sculpture of late Pope John Paul II stands outside Rome's main train station.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
A view of the newly unveiled Pope John Paul II statue, in Rome, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
The newly unveiled Pope John Paul II's statue, in Rome, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
Italian sculptor Oliviero Rainaldi talks to journalists in front of his newly unveiled Pope John Paul II statue in Rome, Monday, Nov. 19, 2012.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
This picture shows Italian sculptor Oliviero Rainaldi's statue of Pope John Paul II before its restoration, left, on May 20, 2011, and at its inauguration after the restoration, in Rome, Nov. 19, 2012.   (AP Photo)
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