Friday, May 20, 2011

Pope John Paul II's Mussolini-esque sculpture

photo: Art Info
Rome's newest sculpture pays homage to the freshly beatified Pope John Paul II. Romans and the Vatican have sore eyes and a bit of retro flashback when looking at the tall bronze figure. The body of the hollowed sculpture, which stands with the pontiffs cloak openly embracing his loyal fans, on top sits a finger-tipped shaped head.  On the head sits a horizontal indented line signifying a halo, declaring the very nature of the late pontiff. The artist, Oliviero Rainaldi was not available for comment, but the story only broke a couple of hours ago.

So what is controversy? The problem for the Italians is the uncanny resemblance between the late tender hearted man and another late, err not so tender hearted man. One that the Romans know so well, no other than Mussolini himself. Though some of the Vatican citizens are still touchy on this subject of the late Fascist ruler, are they right in the resemblance or are they being nostalgic?

For those who might have forgotten Benito Mussolini was the Italian Fascist party leader in the early 20th century.

Many writers are calling this piece highly abstract, just another way of saying highly interpretive.

photo: Jakarta Post
I honestly doubt that the Vatican will take down the sculpture unless a pouring of massive outcry ensues, is this too Maine nostalgia now? Though the Vatican did OK the beginning sketches to the project, they are very upset with the outcome, but is this really that controversial?

Lest not forgot the original 1999 'non abstract' sculpture by Maurizio Cattelan entitled 'La Nona Ora,' Italian for the Ninth Hour. Where Cattelan depicts Pope John Paul II being hit by a meteor.
photo: AP


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