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.

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

AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia
ID: 2364291

2. 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
ID: 2364329

3. “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
ID: 2364572

4. 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
ID: 2364579

5. 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

ID: 2364415

6. 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)
ID: 2364123

7. 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
ID: 2364523

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

Tony Gentile / Reuters
ID: 2364701

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Ellie Hall is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C.
Contact Ellie Hall at

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