'Homeless Jesus' finds a bench on university campus

The Jesus the Homeless statue appears to the casual observer to be someone sleeping on a park...

The Jesus the Homeless statue appears to the casual observer to be someone sleeping on a park bench. (DEREK RUTTAN/QMI Agency)

Dan Brown, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:40 PM ET

LONDON, Ont. -- The head of King's University College hopes a replica of a controversial statue favoured by Pope Francis will make visitors to the Western University satellite campus uncomfortable.

Depicting Jesus Christ as a homeless man in a shroud, the statue appears to the casual observer to be a bum on a park bench.

The prone black figure -- stark against the late-autumn snow -- also stands out because its exposed feet have stigmata.

"I think public art should challenge people to think about who they are and how they interact with others," said King's principal David Sylvester.

He said he hopes Jesus the Homeless will be "a catalyst of discomfort and generate some interesting and challenging conversations among faculty, students and visitors to campus."

He said an image of Christ as a homeless person should have "particular resonance" at King's, given the school's social justice mission.


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