By Josh Howald
World renowned artist Gino Cavicchioli wants to sculpt the Pope.
And well, Pope Francis isn’t always available, so Cavicchioli has been looking for the next best thing – a look-alike.
Enter Rolf Gerstenberger, President of the United Steelworkers Union, Local 1005.
Two weeks ago, the Independent ran a story on the front page appealing to the public to find a model with an uncanny resemblance to His Holiness. The artist, who has remodelled the Kinloss Church into a working studio, requires a live model to help him through the early stages of his project, a portrait in clay of Pope Francis. A similar story appeared in the Hamilton Spectator last week.
As a result of the stories, Cavicchioli received about two dozen E-mails. No less than eight of them recommended Gerstenberger.
Physical appearance may be where the similarities end, however. Gerstenberger is a prominent member of the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Lennist) and holds a Master’s degree in physics.
When Cavicchioli tracked down Gerstenberger and made his request, he was met with uncontrollable laughter. Eventually calmed, the union boss promised he would seriously consider it.
“I will let you know if the communist/atheist agrees to the sitting,” said Cavicchioli.
*Update: Tuesday afternoon, Gerstenberger declined the invitation, citing personal reasons. The disappointed artist vowed to continue his search. If you know somebody who looks like Pope Francis, Cavicchioli’s contact information can be found in our story last week, available on this website.