May 25, 2011. (Romereports.com)
Vatican officials are expressing their dismay toward the new John Paul II statue in front of Rome's main train station.
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi said the Vatican gave its 'okay' based on a
sketch by the artist. But the final version was not what they had in
mind when approving the sketch. They say the end result doesn't resemble
the late pope. Card. Gianfranco Ravasi
President of the Pontifical Council for Culture“The feedback that we gave was for a sketch that was very attractive in which John Paul II extended his cloak to almost ideally shelter the city under it. The implementation is quite different in respect to the original drawing that was given to us, so our positive opinion, in a way, related to another work.”
Even the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano has said “the towering modernistic statue gives the impression a bomb hit the square.”
The enormous 16 foot bronze statue has brought on a lot of controversy not only in the Church but also with local residents, many of whom have called for its removal. Card. Gianfranco Ravasi
President of the Pontifical Council for Culture“Already the mayor of Rome said, even if not officially, that he would like a sort of referendum among the Roman citizens, whether to keep the statue in that place or to move it somewhere else. And no doubt the location made sense because ideally it was John Paul II welcoming everyone who arrived in Rome, coming into the city through the Termini station. So the location is correct, the subject may be questionable, and so a possible transfer is understandable.”
The unveiling of the statue was meant to close the beatification ceremonies. But it appears this statue of John Paul II may not have found its final resting place.