.- The much criticized 12-foot bronze sculpture of Blessed John Paul II that stands outside of Romeâs main train station will be revamped.
âI made a design for the sculpture that wasnât executed well in the foundry,â explained the creator of the artwork, Italian sculptor Oliviero Rainaldi.
âIt is not that we have come up with a new statue,â he told CNA on Jan. 10. âWe're correcting those details that werenât executed wellâ so that âit will be more faithful to my original idea.â
The redesign will involve replacing the head, modifying the Popeâs cape and touching up the outer coating of paint, since the bronze has oxidized to a light shade of green. The statue will also be raised 15 inches on a new platform, and its lighting will be improved.
When the statue was first unveiled last May, the Vaticanâs newspaper LâOsservatore Romano criticized it for bearing âlittle resemblanceââ to Pope John Paul and described the head as being âexcessively spherical.â
The President of Romeâs Cultural Commission, Federico Mollicone, went further, calling it âa permanent and sacrilegious mud stain on his memory.â
The general public also disliked the statue. A poll in the Italian La Repubblica newspaper found that 87 percent of the general public did not care for the piece.
Rainaldi told CNA in a June 2011 interview that his avant garde design is intended to manifest the inner-life of Pope John Paul II, instead of presenting a life-like photographic image.
âThe man within was more interesting to me than the man outside,â he said, describing a man who was âlaceratedâ inside ânot only by his infirmity but also by his mission,â the sculptor said. Rainaldi added, âthis man showed he was beautiful for others reasons beyond his appearance.â
The cost of remaking the statue will be covered by the Silvana Paolini Angelucci Foundation, the charitable institution that initially donated it.