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Homeless Jesus statue to be unveiled in city centre

The sculpture, which cost £25,000, will be on display on Nelson Mandela Place, Glasgow.

Statue: Homeless Jesus lying on a bench.
Statue: Homeless Jesus lying on a bench. Timothy Schmalz

A statue of Jesus as a homeless man sleeping on a park bench is to be unveiled in Glasgow.

The sculpture, which cost £25,000, will be on display on Nelson Mandela Place in the city centre.

Representatives from homelessness projects have backed the artwork and hope the statue will help raise awareness of the situation in the city.

They will be in attendance at its unveiling on Thursday along with church and civic leaders and others who have supported the project.

A painting of homeless Jesus by Scottish artist Peter Howson will also be on show alongside the statue in Glasgow.

The sculpture, created by Canadian Timothy Schmalz, depicts a homeless man lying on a park bench covered by a blanket, his face can not be seen but gaping holes on both feet, caused by his crucifixion, show that it is Jesus under the cover.

Since 2013, castings of the homeless Jesus have been placed throughout the world including at the Vatican where the Pope blessed a smaller version.

Some churches have regarded it as controversial and refused to display it.

An application to install the the UK's first version of the statue near Westminster Abbey in London was rejected by the local council in 2016.

Planning permission to install it in Glasgow was granted later in the same year.

Christian sculptor Timothy Schmalz drew inspiration for the statue from a homeless person he saw lying on a bench in Toronto.

Schmalz named his creation Matthew 25, in reference to the gospel quote: "Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."

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