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...

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