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The city noted that Vatican culture officials had seen a sketch of the work and approved it.

Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, confirmed that the sketch “received a positive opinion by the culture commission” of the Holy See. What happened between sketch stage and the final result, he couldn’t say.

A Rome cleaning woman ventured some practical objections, as well as artistic. “With the shape of a cape, sooner or later the homeless people at the station will sleep inside it, and in no time, it will be full of bottles of beer,” said Grazia Liberti, 46, returning home after her night job.