Contemporary art

Pope John Paul II - or Mussolini?

Olivero Rainaldi's statue of Pope John Paul II

A statue of Pope John Paul II that was unveiled last year outside Rome's Termini train station made waves—but for all the wrong reasons. Some visitors said that the imposing piece by sculptor Oliviero Rainaldi resembled the dictator Benito Mussolini. Even the Vatican was dubious about the sculpture, which is meant to show the late pontiff opening his cloak to the faithful. The statue has now been reconfigured by Rainaldi who appears to have enlarged the Pope's head and neck. But a city councilor, Fabio Sabbatani Schiuma, told the UK newspaper the Independent: "They've made it worse. It looks even more like Mussolini." Other critics chipped in, saying that the imposing sculpture looks like a Star Trek creature.

More from The Art Newspaper


Submit a comment

All comments are moderated. If you would like your comment to be approved, please use your real name, not a pseudonym. We ask for your email address in case we wish to contact you - it will not be made public and we do not use it for any other purpose.


Want to write a longer comment to this article? Email


Share this