Overlooking the city of Czestochowa, the 13.8-meter-tall depiction of John Paul II is the tallest pope statue in the world, and has one of the strangest origin stories for a religious monument of its time.
The person who funded this holy project was a businessman by the name of Leszek Lyson, who believed that the pope had helped him when he rescued his son from drowning during a family vacation in Croatia in 2010. As a humble thank-you to John Paul II, Lyson put his money towards building a huge statue of the late pope.
The company commissioned to undertake the huge endeavor is one that specializes in fiberglass statues of dinosaurs for European theme parks. Of course, a statue this imposing has come under criticism. Most of the complaints range from sarcastic remarks on how the statue resembles the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters, to how such a garish monument to John Paul II poorly represents his principles. The Czestochowa architects’ association has even gone as far as to say that the statue lacks quality.