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Revised statue of John Paul II inaugurated in Rome

The Associated Press, Monday, November 19, 2012, 1:19am (PST)

ROME (AP) — The city of Rome has inaugurated a revamped statue of Pope John Paul II after the first one was pilloried by the public and the Vatican.

Artist Oliviero Rainaldi says he's pleased with the final product, saying it matches his original vision. He blamed foundry workers for a botched assemblage the first time around.

When the statue was first unveiled in front of Rome's main train station in May 2011, it was widely criticized by passers-by as looking more like Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini than the beloved Polish pope. Even the Vatican's own art critic wrote that it looked like a "bomb" had landed.

The revisions unveiled Monday focus on the pope's face: he smiles now and has a neck and more defined chin. The bronze tone is also evened out.

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