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Controversial pope statue to get facelift

Jan. 9, 2012 at 2:15 PM

ROME, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- A controversial statue of the late Pope John Paul II at Rome's main train station is to get a new look, officials said.

The statue's creator, Italian sculptor Oliviero Rainaldi, said he was prepared to change the statue after it received widespread criticism when it was unveiled in May, ANSA reported.

The statue is an abstract rendering of John Paul, with a billowing cloak that found favor with almost no one, including the Vatican's daily newspaper.

It "resembles a sentry box" and its head is "excessively spherical," L'Osservatore Romano said.

Rainaldi said any changes would be "minimal."

"The statue is not being redone," he said.

A panel appointed by Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno has recommended changes.

"The statue will get a new head, the cape will be modified and the outer coating of paint will be touched up," the panel said.

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