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Gregorio Borgia / AP

This combined picture shows Italian sculptor Oliviero Rainaldi's statue of Pope John Paul II before its restoration, left, on Sept. 23, 2011, and at its inauguration after the restoration, in Rome on Nov. 19, 2012.

The Associated Press reports — The city of Rome has inaugurated a revamped statue of Pope John Paul II after the first one was pilloried by the public and the Vatican.

Pope or Mussolini? Statue sparks uproar

Artist Oliviero Rainaldi says he's pleased with the final product, saying it matches his original vision. He blamed foundry workers for a botched assemblage the first time around.

The statue was restored after Rainaldi was pilloried by the Vatican for creating a sculpture of Pope John Paul II that some mockingly said looked more like Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini than the beloved late pontiff. Even the Vatican's own art critic wrote that it looked like a "bomb" had landed. 

Gregorio Borgia / AP

A woman stops to look at the newly unveiled Pope John Paul II statue in Rome on Nov. 19, 2012.

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Starting with the Invasion of Sicily in July of 1943, and culminating in the June 6, 1944 D-Day Invasion of Normandy, Allied forces took the fight to the Axis powers in many locations across Western Europe. The push into Italy began in Sicily, but soon made it to the Italian mainland, with landings in the south. The Italian government (having recently ousted Prime Minister Benito Mussolini) quickly signed an armistice with the Allies -- but German forces dug in and set up massive defensive lines across Italy, prepared to halt any armed push to the north. After several major offensives, the Allies broke through and captured Rome on June 4, 1944. Two days later, the largest amphibious invasion in history took place, with nearly 200,000 Allied troops taking 7,000 ships and more than 3,000 aircraft toward the coast of Normandy, France on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Some 156,000 troops landed, 24,000 by air and the rest by sea, meeting stiff resistance from well-defended German positions across 50 miles of French coastline. After several days of intense warfare, Allied troops gained tenuous holds on several beaches, which they were able to grow with reinforcement and bombardment. By the end of June, Allies were in firm control of Normandy, and by August 25, Paris was liberated by the French Resistance, with help from the French Forces of the Interior and the U.S. 4th Infantry Division. In September, the Allies launched another major invasion, Operation Market Garden, the largest airborne operation of its time, where tens of thousands of troops descended on the Netherlands by parachute and glider. Though the landings were successful, troops on the ground were unable to take and hold their targets, including bridges across the Rhine River. Despite that setback, by late 1944, the Allies had successfully established a Western Front, and were preparing to advance on Germany. (This entry is Part 16 of a weekly 20-part retrospective of World War II) [45 photos]

While under attack of heavy machine gun fire from the German coastal defense forces, American soldiers wade ashore off the ramp of a U.S. Coast Guard landing craft, during the Allied landing operations at Normandy, France on D-Day, June 6, 1944. (AP Photo)

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