Statue's temporary Jesus head garners international attention

A temporary Jesus head statue in Sudbury, Ont. has people talking around the world.

Temporary head from baby Jesus statue has now been removed as it was damaging existing statue

The temporary Jesus head has been transposed onto a variety of photos, including this one of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaking in parliament. (TemporaryJesusHead/Instagram)

A temporary head on a statue of Jesus in Sudbury, Ont. has garnered international attention.

The statue of Mother Mary and her baby Jesus sits on the front lawn of Sainte-Anne-des-Pins Catholic Church in the city's downtown.

After the head was repeatedly stolen, the baby Jesus sat headless for the past year, until a local artist offered to create a replacement.

That new head — handmade from dark red terracotta clay — has caused many people to look twice.

The responses are now pouring in online, with someone even creating an Instagram account called 'Temporary Jesus Head.'

"This thing is definitely not right, but is wrong in all the right ways," the account creator Zachary Radford told CBC News.

The head was likened to various other famous characters.

The incident is also bringing to mind a story from Spain, where a botched restoration of a Jesus fresco painting is now a major tourist attraction.

People won't have the opportunity to take any more fresh pictures, as on Friday morning, the head was removed by the church's priest Gérald Lajeunesse, because it was starting to damage the rest of the statue.

Lajeunesse said the church plans to create a permanent head out of stone.

He told CBC News he hasn't decided what he will do with the current head. 

"If [the artist] wants it, she can keep it. Otherwise we'll keep it for a while and then we'll see. It's kept safely right now, out of harms way."

Lajeunesse added that, while everyone wants their moment in the spotlight, his "will be with a redheaded statue."

"I had mass today. I told people, 'if you see me step back for a moment, I have the giggles, just thinking this story went around the world.'"

With files from Natacha Lavigne