The much-ridiculed bronze bust of Cristiano Ronaldo at Madeira Airport was replaced on Friday with a version bearing more of a resemblance to the soccer superstar, at the request of the family, Portuguese media reported.
The replacement took place discreetly and with no invitation to the media on June 15, ahead of Portugal’s opening World Cup match with Spain, media reports said.
The original bust, sculpted by local artist Emanuel Santos, had been the subject of much mockery, something the artist said made him sad and was not easy to take.
“I learned of this news with great sadness. It was a surprise I did not expect and of course it was not easy,” he told local media.
Santos vehemently defended his effort at the time, famously remarking that “even Jesus couldn’t please everyone.”
Nevertheless, Santos was commissioned for a second attempt.