UPDATE: The original Jesus head that went missing has been returned and has been placed back on the statue; the replacement head that attracted so much attention has, thus, been removed. See the original story below:
Some parishioners at Ste. Anne des Pins church in Ontario, Canada, are reportedly upset after an attempt to fix a damaged Jesus statue came out looking, shall we say, quite odd.
Problems with the statue began last October when its head was reportedly lopped off. It was hardly the first time this unfolded, but, in this latest case, the church wasn’t able to find and reattach it as had been done in the past.
Considering it would have cost between $6,000 and $10,000 for a replacement statue, the church’s priest, Gerard Lajeunesse, allowed a local artist to make a handmade terracotta replacement head, CBC News reported.
The problem? Due to structural problems and rain damage, the replacement quickly ended up looking nothing like the original. In fact, some have said the statue now looks more like a “Simpsons” character than anything else.
Plus, the orangish color of the head — rather than the off-white color of the stone making up the rest of the statue — creates quite a contrast.
“I have noticed that, with the rain, the clay is eroding,” Lajeunese told the Toronto Star. “I may have to have it removed. Right now, it’s staining the statue.”
But it seems there were already plans in the works to come up with something more permanent, as the clay head was always intended to be a temporary replacement, with the final version slated to come next spring.
“I don’t expect it to last long,” Lajeunesse said. “(The artist) plans on sculpting in stone sometime next year.”
According to the priest, some parishioners were hurt and frustrated by the statue’s newfound appearance.
“I wasn’t trained for this in seminary,” Lajeunesse said.
As WXIN-TV noted, this isn’t the first time someone has run into problems while attempting to fix a religious image.
Consider the now-infamous Spanish fresco depicting Jesus that ended up looking entirely different after a Spanish woman in her 80s attempted to fix it up.
At first, the painting looked so odd that authorities thought someone vandalized it, but they later learned of the woman’s attempts to fix the image when she came forward and admitted her role; the incident went viral.
(H/T: CBC News)