Rome is apparently in uproar over the unveiling last week of a sculpture intended to portray the late Pope John Paul II, but which its detractors say looks like wartime dictator Benito Mussolini. The work, which occupies a position in the piazza outside Rome's main railway station, has been described as "modern and evocative" by the city's mayor -- but others are not so sure. Says Antonio Stampete, a Rome city councillor,
"Installing this outside Rome's most important travel hub, where thousands of Italian and foreign tourists arrive every day, is embarrassing".The Vatican has also criticised the work, even though the Pontifical Commission for Culture is reported to have approved the original sketches.
It has not been suggested that there is any legal basis on which removal of the sculpture could be compelled. Indeed, it is the reputation of the sculptor, Oliviero Rainaldi, which the laws relating to moral rights seek to protect. There's not much good news for Mussolini either: it seems that his own well-publicised miracle -- making the Italian trains run on time -- is only a myth.
Source: "Pope John Paul II sculpture criticised for resembling Benito Mussolini" by Nick Squires, Telegraph, 20 May 2011
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