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Germany: Cologne Cathedral pays tribute to Pope Francis with a gargoyle

To be portrayed in Gothic cathedrals among statues, bas-reliefs and stained-glass windows was a reason for pride, especially in those majestic buildings known as “factories” for the continuous addition of new masterpieces or their renovation. That is why the Dombauhütte of Cologne (the organization that brings together all the associations of those who work for the maintenance and care of the Cathedral) has dedicated a figurine to Pope Francis: a small gargoyle smiling on the main portal. “It is only an ornamental gargoyle, it does not serve as a waterspout, so there is no water coming out”, said master builder Peter Füssenich, in charge of the Dombauhütte, in an interview with Cologne newspaper “The Express”. In the past, other people have been immortalized in the statues and stained-glass windows of the Cologne Cathedral and on its roof. Indeed, famous FC Köln footballers can be spotted, as well as the characters of Cologne’s historic Carnival – all in elevated positions. And there is also a place for the former secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Nikita Krusciov; United States President John F. Kennedy; French President Charles de Gaulle; and for British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. According to Füssenich, “none living today will ever see the Cathedral without scaffolding”, and this is because the Cathedral is constantly evolving. Even the gargoyle of Pope Francis was moved from its initial position, right above the figure of King Solomon, to its current definitive position on the main portal.

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