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SuperPope Graffiti Gets Papal Tweet Of Approval, Rome Police Get All Lex Luthor And Paint Over It

Its a bird... It's a plane... It's SUPERPOPE. Or, it was.

Posted on January 30, 2014, at 3:55 p.m. ET

On Monday, street art depicting Pope Francis as "SuperPope" appeared on the streets of Rome blocks away from the Vatican.

AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia

The graffiti, by Italian street artist Mauro Pallotta ("Maupal") showed the pope flying through the air, carrying his black satchel and a scarf bearing the blue and red colors of his favorite Argentinian football team, San Lorenzo.

AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia

"Valores," the Spanish word for "values," was stamped on the bag (Pope Francis carries his own bag when he travels, which is a break from precedent).

Alessandro Bianchi / Reuters

Pallotta told NPR Wednesday that he depicted the pope as a superhero because "Pope Francis is the only world leader who stands on the side of the people."

AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia
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The graffiti became a popular attraction for tourists and Romans alike, who said that the mural represented the new pontiff perfectly. "He's a hero, modern hero for the church; he is doing very good things for the church, for the people, for the world," said one man. "We people, we need him."

Alessandro Bianchi / Reuters
Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

The artwork even received the papal seal of approval — the Vatican tweeted it from its official account on Tuesday.

We share with you a graffiti found in a Roman street near the #Vatican / Les compartimos este graffiti que vimos hoy

VaticanCommunication@PCCS_VA

We share with you a graffiti found in a Roman street near the #Vatican /

Les compartimos este graffiti que vimos hoy

05:12 AM - 28 Jan 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Sadly, Roman police scrubbed the image off the wall early Thursday morning. Pallotta's agent told the Associated Press that the artist hopes to avoid a city fine for his creation.

AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia

Somehow, it doesn't seem likely that Pope Francis would have minded the artistic homage.

Tony Gentile / Reuters
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