Poland has unveiled the worlds largest Papal statue honouring Pope John Paul II. The 13.8m 45-ft high sculpture is fashioned from fibreglass and weighs five tonnes. The art work depicts the pope standing with outstretched arms blessing the city of Czestochowa in southern Poland, where it has been erected. Czestochowa is the country’s most important pilgrimage site. It is the home to the Jasna Gora monastery, with its famous icon of the Black Madonna.
The company that created the statue is well known for their fibreglass dinosaurs produced for theme parks across Europe. This sculpture has been compared to the Stay Puft marshmallow man from the film Ghostbusters, by some critics.
The project was funded by Leszek Lyson who said he wanted to give thanks to John Paul II for the life of his son, whom Mr Lyson saved from drowning during a family holiday in Croatia three years ago. The statue has sparked controversy after commentators called it Kitsch and lacking in craftsmanship.
Karol Wojtyla, the former Archbishop of Krakow was elected as pope in 1978 at the age of 58. Taking the name John Paul II, he was the first non-Italian pope in more than 450 years, He died in 2005 age 84 and beautified a saint in 2011.