Archbishop Waclaw Depo unveiled the 45ft white fiberglass statue of Pope John Paul II, funded by businessman Leszek Lyson, in gratitude for what he believes was an intervention by the late pontiff in saving his drowning son
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World's tallest statue of Pope John Paul II is funded by tycoon who believes pontiff saved his drowning son
- White fibreglass statue is 5ft taller than Chile's 40ft monument to John Paul II
- Unveiled today with blessing from Archbishop Waclaw Depo of Czestochowa
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The world's tallest statue of former pontiff Pope John Paul II has been unveiled today in Poland.
Businessman Leszek Lyson funded the 45ft statue in gratitude to Pope John Paul II because he believes the former pope intervened in saving his son from drowning during a family holiday in Croatia in 2010.
The statue, which weighs five tonnes and is made of white fibreglass, shows the pope standing with outstretched arms with a gold cross around his neck.
The statue was blessed by Archbishop Waclaw Depo of Czestochowa at the unveiling today in Poland
The monument stands on a hill above the city of Czestochowa, famous for the Jasna Gora monastery, and its icon of the Black Madonna which is believed to work miracles.
At the unveiling ceremony an actor read fragments of texts written by the late pope, who died in 2005, before a children's choir sang.
Later the Archbishop Waclaw Depo of Czestochowa blessed the statue.
Mr Lyson met the pope, who was named Karol Wojtyla before he rose to his title, in the 1960s.
He said the new statue surpasses the 40ft shrine to John Paul II in Chile.
Since his death, the pope has become a cult figure among Poland's Catholics who expect him to be made a saint.
In Poland 90 per cent of the 38 million population are Catholic, making it one of Europe's most devout countries.
Poland also is home to the tallest statue of Christ, a 118ft monument that was erected in the western town of Swiebodzin two years ago.