This Adelaide Catholic School Has Now Tried To Explain Its Controversial Statue

Cheryl Sanders
November 22, 2017

The Advertiser reported that the statue was designed by a sculptor in Vietnam who has done previous work for Blackfriars Priory School.

"As a effect, the statue was immediately covered and a local sculptor has been commissioned to redesign it", the statement reads.

How that got past approval stages so easily is anyone's guess, though Cobiac suggests it wasn't until the 2D drawings came to life that they realised their mistake.

St Martin de Porres Velazquez was a lay brother of the Dominican Order known for helping the poor through the establishment of orphanages and a children's hospital in his native Peru during the 16th century.

The statue in question is a depiction of St Martin de Porres handing bread to a young child.

"The two-dimensional concept plans for the statue were viewed and approved by the Executive Team in May but upon arrival the three-dimensional statue was deemed by the Executive to be potentially suggestive", Cobiac explained. He maintained an austere lifestyle, fasting and abstaining from meat. The son of a Spanish nobleman and a freed slave, he is the patron saint of the mixed race, barbers, public health workers and innkeepers. He was declared to be a sain in 1962 by Pope John XXIII. It is truly a tragedy that this kind of misstep would occur with his statue.

Reaction on social media ranged from incredulity that the school allowed the statue to be put up in the first place, to amusement about the cover-up in black.

With current events surrounding sexual assault, this case seems particularly unfortunate. But many people had a different interpretation and saw a more provocative image.

According to the Australian Associated Press, the school's principal announced on social media this week that upon seeing the completed statue, some school officials thought it was "potentially suggestive".

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