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Oh Jesus! Temporary head on Christ statue puts spotlight on Sudbury church

Last Updated Oct 20, 2016 at 1:27 pm EDT

A vandalized statue of baby Jesus at Ste. Anne des Pins parish in Sudbury is fitted with a temporary clay head crafted by a local artist. TWITTER/@PokemonGoMeme12

A statue of baby Jesus got a facelift after it was vandalized in Sudbury, Ont. – and the result is turning heads.

Ste. Anne des Pins parish says the statue, which was beheaded by unknown vandals a year ago, was recently fitted with a temporary clay head crafted by a local artist.

The new head – a placeholder until the artist can sculpt a permanent replacement out of stone – has captured the attention of many in the parish and on social media.

Some online have compared the head, with its spiky clay crown, to a character on the popular cartoon “The Simpsons” or to the infamously botched restoration of a fresco of Jesus in Spain.

The church’s priest, Gerard Lajeunesse, says the clash between the orange clay of the head and the white stone of the body is what’s most jarring to onlookers.

Lajeunesse says there were problems because the neck was broken on an angle and the artist was forced to alter the shape of the clay head to ensure it would stay attached.

The priest says he will likely remove the head because the clay has started to erode in the rain and there is a risk it could stain the rest of the statue.

The artist, who has offered her services for free, will begin sculpting a permanent head in the spring, he said. They plan to stick a metal rod in the statue to prevent anyone from removing the head again.

In the meantime, Jesus will likely remain headless, he said.

“I got very few comments when the head was missing. Now I’ve received a lot of comments,” Lajeunesse said in French.

“Maybe it was a little bit my problem, maybe I should have explained what was happening, but I didn’t.”

Lajeunesse said the statue has lost its head at least once before but the church previously managed to find and reattach it.

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