A Statue of Pope John Paul II Brings Out the Critic in Italians
ROME — The backdrop may be the Termini train station, but the chatter these days evokes a Damien Hirst opening. The object of the attention is a 17-foot-tall bronze sculpture of Pope John Paul II unveiled on May 18, his birthday.
The verdict, at least as registered by the Italian news media and several online polls, is a merciless thumbs down.
The starkly spare sculpture by a Rome-based artist, Oliviero Rainaldi, depicts the pope condensed into a massive mantle as if to envelop the faithful. It has been alternately described as a sentry box, a bell and a papal vespasiano, as Romans call a urinal. (Vespasian was the first-century emperor who levied a tax on urine, which was used for tanning leather.)
The crescendo of outrage grew so rapidly that Rome’s traffic cops had to be deployed to keep a 24-hour watch to ward off potential vandalism until video cameras could be installed on surrounding lampposts....
comments powered by Disqus
- Joan Baez, Sly Stone, Steve Martin, Ben E. King -- all honored by the Library of Congress
- StoryCorps to Launch Global Expansion With $1M TED Prize
- Hofstra Event Looks at Bush Presidency
- Did Israel steal uranium from a town in Pennsylvania in the 1960s?
- Sequel to Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom to be published next year
- OAH denounces anti-gay legislation signed by Indiana governor
- Emory’s Leslie Harris says we should remember the racist roots of American colleges as we think about what went wrong at OU and other schools
- Stanford historian looks to the U.S. Postal Service to map the boom and bust of 19th-century American West
- U.S. historian denounces Japanese scholars' statement over wartime sexual slavery
- Timothy V Johnson Named Head of Tamiment Library