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10 strange statues of Jesus Christ that do not fit into traditional religious canons
10 strange statues of Jesus Christ that do not fit into traditional religious canons

Usually Jesus is depicted as a man with fair skin with a beard and shoulder-length hair, and sometimes as a beautiful baby who lies in the arms of the Virgin Mary. Most of the statues of Jesus look exactly like this, but there are exceptions. Some sculptures are so strange that they were even considered occult symbols. Others are simply contradictory and depict Jesus in unusual positions. And there are surprisingly many similar examples, and this review contains the brightest of them.

1. Black Jesus

Repainted Jesus

In Detroit, at the Main Seminary of the Sacred Heart, a statue of the black Jesus can be seen. It was originally white, but was then repainted black during the 1967 Detroit black riot. Given that the seminary was located in a "black" area, it is not surprising that it was quickly noticed. On July 23, 1967, three men painted the face, arms and legs of the statue in brown and black paint (the clothes were left white). The seminary repainted the statue white, but someone turned Jesus black again on the night of September 14, 1967. Since then, the statue has remained black even during restorations. This was not considered vandalism because people did not destroy the sculpture. Some believe that the statue was repainted on purpose so that it would not be destroyed during the riots.

2. Homeless Jesus

Homeless Jesus

Homeless Jesus is the name given to several bronze statues depicting a homeless man sleeping on a bench. They were created by artist Timothy Schmalz to highlight the problem of homeless people. The man's face is covered, but it is clear that this is Jesus because of the holes from the nails on his feet. The first Homeless Jesus was installed outside Regis College of the Jesuit School of Theology at the University of Toronto. Since then, more than 40 similar statues have been ordered and placed in several locations around the world, including the Vatican. The statues look so realistic that some people who see them for the first time mistake the sculptures for real homeless people sleeping in the cold.

3. Christ of the Abyss

Statue in the Bay of San Fruttuoso, Italy

Il Cristo Degli Abissi ("Christ of the Abyss") - Three underwater bronze statues of Jesus. All of them were made by the Italian artist Guido Galletti. The first was completed in 1954 and installed in San Fruttuoso Bay, Italy. The second statue was completed in 1961 and placed in the port of St. George, Grenada, in memory of the survivors of the sinking of the Italian ship Bianca C in the harbor after a fire. Galletti's third statue was created for the Italian company Egidio Cressi, which makes diving equipment (she later donated the sculpture to the Underwater Society of America). All three statues are identical because they are made from the same source. The original clay source could not be found until 1993, when it was discovered with missing hands. Then the hands of the statue were found in a separate box.

4. The Veiled Christ

Dying Jesus under a transparent veil

The Veiled Christ depicts a dying Jesus lying on a bed and covered with a transparent veil. It is so transparent that the features of Jesus' face are clearly visible to anyone looking at the statue. The sculpture was created by Giuseppe Sanmartino for Prince Raimondo de Sangro. Sanmartino completed the statue in 1753 and it is currently housed in the San Severo Chapel in Naples, Italy.The veiled Christ was controversial even at the time it was made, and remains so today thanks to the transparent "veil." Most people couldn't figure out how Sanmartino did it. They suspected that the veil was actually created by Prince Raimondo, who used a secret process that he developed during his alchemical experiments (Raimondo was known for his interest in alchemy). He was a very controversial person, and his writings were also controversial. After the death of Raimondo, the Catholic Church forced the prince's relatives to destroy his scientific works. However, there was no alchemy or magic involved in the creation of the transparent veil. It's just art. The veil and body of Jesus are part of the same marble sculpture.

5. Pieta

Sculpture "Pieta"

The sculpture "Pieta" depicts the Virgin Mary with the dying Jesus in her lap. It is exhibited at St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. The Pieta was completed by Michelangelo in 1498 and was intended for a French cardinal who wanted to install a statue on his grave. Michelangelo deliberately created a sculpture in which Mary was larger and younger than Jesus. The sculptor stated that his Mary had a childish face because she was a virgin. According to him, virgins do not age because they are "free from desires." In terms of size, it was normal for Renaissance statues to make a person unusually large in order to "balance the art." In this case, it would be strange if little Mary carried the big Jesus, so Michelangelo made Mary bigger. The Pieta is considered the only sculpture ever signed by Michelangelo. He stamped his name on the statue after hearing rumors that another artist had done the sculpture. Michelangelo was not yet famous and was afraid that someone would take over his work. He later regretted signing the statue.

6. Revival

Statue in the Paul VI Audience Hall in Rome

In the Paul VI Audience Hall in Rome, there is a statue of Jesus emerging from a crater from a nuclear explosion. The bronze and copper statue was created by Pericles Fazzini and presented in 1971. Fazzini used the statue to depict the reality of our nuclear weapons and what would happen if a nuclear war ever broke out. The crater was created over the Garden of Gethsemane, the last place where Jesus prayed before he was crucified. However, some believe that the statue has other meanings and even that it is not Jesus at all, but Baphomet, a deity that often appears in occult symbols.

7. King of kings

"King of Kings" in the Solid Rock Church

"King of Kings" is a statue of Jesus that is installed at Solid Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio. The sculpture was unusual in that it only depicted Jesus' torso, as if the rest of his body was underground. The top of the cross is also visible. This statue is also called the "Jesus who made the touchdown" because it depicts Jesus raising his hands to the sky, just like football players in American football raise their hands when they show that they have made a touchdown. The statue was destroyed after it was struck by lightning in June 2010. The lightning set off a fire that completely destroyed the plastic, foam and fiberglass statue, leaving only the steel frame.

8. Mourning

Lamentation over Christ

The Lamentation depicts Mary Magdalene, Virgin Mary and Nicodemus carrying the body of Jesus for embalming. Because Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea carried the body in the original Bible story, some say Nicodemus was actually Joseph. Although the sculpture was created by Michelangelo, it was completed by his friend and student Tiberio Calcagni. Michelangelo began work on the statue in 1550, but smashed his work with a hammer in 1555. No one knows why Michelangelo destroyed the sculpture. He used veined marble, which was difficult to work with, so he may have flared up when a crack appeared in the statue.It is also possible that the genius lost his temper, because his servant Urbino "nailed" the sculptor every day, urging him to complete the work.

Still others suspect that this was because Michelangelo did not want people to believe that he followed Nicodemus's more Protestant teachings while most Italians were Catholic. As a result, Michelangelo sold the unfinished statue, and the new owner ordered Calcanyi to finish it. He replaced broken parts and made several other changes before completing the statue, but Calcanyi never added a new left leg to Jesus.

9. The stolen head of Jesus

The stolen head of Jesus

This is not the real name of the sculpture. Perhaps the unnamed statue depicts the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus. It was installed near Sainte-Anne-de-Pins Catholic Church in Sudbury, Canada. The baby Jesus' head was removable and people would often remove it. Most of the time, she was left on the ground next to her, but in 2015, someone stole her head. Artist Heather Wise agreed to create a new head for Jesus, and to prevent the statue from standing headless, a temporary head was installed for a couple of days. She was so funny that she quickly became the object of jokes on the Internet. Not only did the temporary head have a different color, it looked like a character from The Simpsons.

10. Risen Christ

Risen christ

Let's return to Michelangelo and his habit of sculpting unusual statues of Jesus. The "Risen Christ" or "Christ with the Cross" depicts a naked Jesus holding a large cross. However, Michelangelo actually created two statues; he began work on the first in 1514. But he stopped halfway after discovering that the marble contained black impurities that showed up on the sculpture's cheek. He finished the second in 1521. Michelangelo then gave both statues to Metello Vari, who commissioned the work. The unfinished sculpture was forgotten shortly after Vary's death in 1554, and most people were unaware that it was Michelangelo's work.

The work was completed by another artist in 1644 and sent to the Church of San Vincenzo Martyre in Bassano Romano, Italy. And Michelangelo's finished version is kept in the Church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, where Jesus' penis was covered with a bronze "rag". The statue, which was completed by another artist, probably survived because it was forgotten (it was left untouched when Napoleon invaded Bassano Romano in the 18th century and when the Nazis arrived in the area during World War II). The statue was reopened in 1997.

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