Religion: Surplus Surplice

All that was needed at brand-new St. Paul's Church in The Hague was a statue of St. Paul. Rotterdam Sculptor Jan Vlasblom was commissioned to create a statue of the saint, to stand on a pedestal above the main entrance. But when Sculptor Vlasblom unveiled a full-sized clay model, the bishopric's Roman Catholic Liturgical Commission turned thumbs down. The clerics objected to a hugely exaggerated surplice that engulfed the saint's figure. It "will give superfluous occasion for wonder instead of admiration," complained the commission report. "Believers could never recognize this figure as their patron."

When the decision got out, Dutch Catholic publications...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!