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On Friday, a stream of people walked by to view the work, and many praised it.

“It had a big emotional impact on me. It’s provocative, but it’s not offensive,” said Zofia Jablonska, a 30-year-old lawyer. “Having him pray in the place where he would kill people — this was the best place to put it.”

Cattelan caused controversy in Warsaw in 2000 when another gallery showed his work “La Nona Ora” — or “The Ninth Hour” — which depicts the late Pope John Paul II being crushed by a meteorite. That offended many in Poland, which is both deeply Catholic and was John Paul’s homeland.