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Pope Francis given sculpture of famous Spanish architect Antonio Gaudi

Famous Spanish architect Antonio Gaudí­, is known for impressive designs like Barcelona's Sagrada Familia. The association that promotes his cause for canonization, came to Rome and gave the Pope a sculpture of the late architect.  JOSÉ MANUEL ALMUZARA President, Association for Beatification of Antonio Gaudí­ "We were enthusiastic about giving this gift to Pope Francis, and we succeeded. It is a homage to this Servant of God. We're hoping it accompanies Pope Francis along his journey, inspiring light and beauty.â?  ETSURO SOTOO Chief Sculptor, Sagrada Familia "Like always, Pope Francis asked us to pray for him. I told him: I'll pray for you, but please also pray for us.â? The sculpture is replica of a model made back in 1926, just a few days after the death of Gaudí­. Japanese artist Etsuro Sotoo, who has been completing the Sagrada Familia for the past 35 years now, made the copy.  He thinks that in a way the sculpture reflects the personality of the late architect, who died after being run over by a street tram.  ETSURO SOTOO Chief Sculptor, Sagrada Familia "His face is full of happiness. But the question is how can he have this expression after the accident? He looks as if he's dreaming, already in Heaven... broken nose, cut brow and all.â?  The Japanese sculptor thinks that the Sagrada Familia will be completely finished by 2026, which will  mark 100 years since Gaudi's death.  His cause for canonization seems to be moving along.  JOSÉ MANUEL ALMUZARA President, Association for Beatification of Antonio Gaudí­ "Right now, they're working on his biographical information and life summary. So we're hopeful that will be finished in a year and that all the material can be handed over to the Pope.â?  Gaudi was Catholic and those who've studied his life and work say that the best way to understand him is through his work...seeing exactly what he saw day in and day out.  PM/KLH  AA JM -PR Up: PM #Art