Oh, the irony. Hell of way to depict the Holy Father who wrote a beautiful letter to artists: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/letters/documents/hf_jp-ii_let_23041999_artists_en.html
“How could they have given such a kind pope the head of a Fascist?” said 71-year-old Antonio Lamonica, in the bustling square outside Termini Train Station. As he pondered the statue, his wife muttered, “It’s ugly, really ugly, very ugly.”
The artist, Oliviero Rainaldi, depicts the pontiff as if he is opening his cloak to embrace the faithful.
But the Vatican says the effect is “of a mantle that almost looks like a sentry box, topped by a head of a pope which comes off too roundish.”…
Fausto Durante, a 58 year-old from southern Puglia who commutes to Rome twice weekly for work, said the statue wasn’t bad but it just shouldn’t be in a public square.
“Millions of people pass by this place every day, and you need something you can recognize. If the artist wants to do conceptual art, he would aim for a museum, not a public place where the faithful want to recognize their pope,” Durante said.
He started to walk away, but turned back to say: “I want to add that its profile looks like Mussolini.
From AFP: “Homeless people will sleep in there in the winter: the welcoming sense is guaranteed,” a protesting bystander told the Repubblica.” Story here: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110519/lf_afp/vaticanreligionpopebeatificationart_20110519160238