Home Arts & Culture Pope John Paul II giant statue to be unveiled in Poland

Pope John Paul II giant statue to be unveiled in Poland

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A giant statue of Pope John Paul II is to be unveiled on a hill above the city of Czestochowa in southern Poland.

The statue is said to be the tallest of the former pontiff anywhere in the world.

Weighing five tonnes, the 13.8 m (45-ft) white fibreglass statue shows Pope John Paul II standing with outstretched arms.

Czestochowa is home to the country’s most important pilgrimage site, the Jasna Gora monastery, and its icon of the Black Madonna.

A choir, an archbishop and an actor who will read from selected texts written by the Polish pope, are scheduled to take part in Saturday’s unveiling ceremony.

A giant statue of Pope John Paul II is to be unveiled on a hill above the city of Czestochowa in southern Poland.

A giant statue of Pope John Paul II is to be unveiled on a hill above the city of Czestochowa in southern Poland.

Constructed around a steel framework, the statue has been built by a company that manufactures fibreglass statues such as ones of dinosaurs seen in theme parks.

The man funding the project, Leszek Lyson, said he wanted to give thanks to John Paul II for the life of his son, whom Lyson saved from drowning during a family holiday in Croatia three years ago.

Poland is one of the most Roman Catholic countries in Europe but the statue has not won universal acclaim.

A protest campaign has been launched on Facebook because the pope is facing away from the city.


And Czestochowa’s architects’ association says the fibreglass structure lacks quality.

Born Karol Wojtyla in Wadowice, the 58-year-old Archbishop of Krakow’s election as pope in 1978 stunned the Catholic world.

The first non-Italian pope in more than 450 years, Pope John Paul II went on to become one of the most familiar faces in the world, visiting more than 120 countries in a 27-year pontificate that earned him a reputation as an international fighter for freedom.

Pope John Paul II died aged 84 in 2005 after a long illness. He was beatified – the penultimate step towards sainthood – in 2011.

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