Pope donates giant crucifix from Castro to Italy’s Lampedusa


VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis has given a symbolic crucifix he received from Cuban leader Raul Castro to the Italian island of Lampedusa, which has become a hub for migrant arrivals, an Italian cardinal said Friday. The giant cross, 3.6 metres (nearly 12 feet) high, presents Jesus crucified on wooden oars bound up by rope, to symbolise the harsh reality of migrants who have crossed, or failed to cross, seas aboard unseaworthy vessels. It is the work of Cuban artist Alexis Leiva Machado, who goes by the name Kcho. Castro, brother of iconic Cuban communist leader Fidel Castro, gave the crucifix to Pope Francis during his visit to the Vatican in May.



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