By David Kerr
.- The sculptor of a much criticized statue of Blessed John Paul II has defended his work and suggested it could, one day, be regarded as “a classic.”
“Naturally, I understand that is it not conventional, and the proposal might create a different look to what was expected,” Italian artist Olivero Rainaldi told CNA in his first media interview since the row surrounding the statue’s unveiling in May.
“But there are so many beautiful photographs. Why do we need a photographic resemblance?”
At the time of its unveiling, the Vatican’s newspaper L’Osservatore Romano described the 12-foot bronze statue situated outside Rome’s Termini train station as having “little resemblance’’ to Pope John Paul.
“The result is not what was intended and his face on the top of the statue bears little resemblance and already there has been much criticism … it makes him look like a tent … it looks like a bomb has hit,” the paper said.
The President of Rome’s Cultural Commission, Federico Mollicone, went further, calling it “a permanent and sacrilegious mud stain on his memory...”