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World's tallest pontiff: Poland unveils 45-foot John Paul II statue

| Saturday, April 13, 2013, 12:03 p.m.
The sculpture of the late Pope John Paul II during the unveiling ceremony in Czestochowa, Poland, on Saturday, April 13, 2013. Archbishop Waclaw Depo unveiled the 13.8-meter (45.3-foot) white fiberglass figure that was funded by a businessman, Leszek Lyson, in gratitude for what he believes was an intervention by the late pontiff in saving his drowning son.
Archbishop Waclaw Depo unveils the statue of the late Pope John Paul II during the unveiling ceremony in Czestochowa, Poland, on Saturday, April 13, 2013. Archbishop Waclaw Depo unveiled the 13.8-meter (45.3-foot) white fiberglass figure that was funded by a businessman, Leszek Lyson, in gratitude for what he believes was an intervention by the late pontiff in saving his drowning son.
The sculpture of the late Pope John Paul II is seen during the unveiling ceremony in Czestochowa, Poland, on Saturday, April 13, 2013. Archbishop Waclaw Depo unveiled the 13.8-meter (45.3-foot) white fiberglass figure that was funded by a businessman, Leszek Lyson, in gratitude for what he believes was an intervention by the late pontiff in saving his drowning son.

CZESTOCHOWA, Poland — A giant statue of the late Pope John Paul II billed as the world's tallest has been unveiled in southern Poland.

Archbishop Waclaw Depo unveiled the statue of the Polish pontiff Saturday in the southern city of Czestochowa, the home of this predominantly Catholic nation's most famous pilgrimage site, the Jasna Gora monastery.

The white fiberglass figure rises about five stories, or nearly 14 meters (more than 45 feet), on a hill overlooking the city.

It was funded by a businessman, Leszek Lyson, in gratitude for what he believes was an intervention by the late pontiff in saving his drowning son.

John Paul, who led the Roman Catholic church for 27 years before dying in 2005, remains a respected figure in his homeland.

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