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Pope Francis statue soon in Rome's wax museum

'Lovingly crafted', on view beginning December 8

05 December, 14:56
Pope Francis statue soon in Rome's wax museum (ANSA) - Rome, December 5 - Nine months after becoming pope, Francis is about to have his own portrait in what is Italy's sole wax museum, which opened in the capital in 1958.

The statue of Pope Francis will go on display December 8, after two months in the making at the hands of three craftsmen using seven kilos of clay, seven kilos of silicone, and a lot of attention to detail.

''My grandad was a circus impresario. He took the show on the road, and discovered the wax museums in London and Paris, where he 'stole' the idea,'' said Fernando Canini, who inherited the museum from his grandfather and decided to immortalize Francis in April.

The pontiff's face has been made by sculptor Otello Scatolini, who also created that of John Paul II.

''The job is done following the old traditions. You lay the clay on by hand, following your eye and your craft'', said Scatolini. ''The hardest part is getting the look in the eyes. I got Pope Francis pretty fast: less than 48 hours - maybe because I like him''.

Makeup Academy Professor Davide Bracci, a film veteran who worked on the sets of Italian horror maestro Dario Argento, then cast the head in silicone, adding glass eyes and teeth, and then sewing the eyebrows and the hair in.

The completed head and a pair of silicone hands were then set on a wood, resin and foam-rubber body.

The final step, the garments, came courtesy of tailor Adriano Taito.

Pope Francis in his wax version will join five other popes in the museum, including his immediate predecessor Benedict XVI, becoming its 75th statue.

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