Controversial John Paul II statue revamped in Rome
ROME (AFP) - A new version of the controversial statue of pope John Paul II, which had to be revamped following a public outcry over its ugliness last year, was unveiled in front of Rome's central station on Monday.
The five-metre high bronze statue, designed by the Italian artist Oliviero Rainaldi, was unveiled in May last year, just weeks after the late pope was put on the path to sainthood - but immediately sparked controversy.
John Paul, who died in 2005, smiles benignly down on passers-by, his bronze head supported by a structure with no body, but a large cloak ready to embrace those in need.
The harsh edges of the cloak - which previously had a box-like structure - have been softened in the new version, and the popular former pope's head has been tilted forward to sit better on his body, creating a more humane effect.