Pope John Paul II lookalike arrested

A man dressing up as Pope John Paul II for tourists in Rome has been arrested and fined.

The Telegraph reports that the unnamed man, from Slovakia, had taken up a spot on the Via dei Fori Imperiali, which leads up to the Colosseum, and was posing for photographs dressed in a white cassock, with crucifix and skull cap.

"John Paul was a great Pope. Lots of people ask to have their photograph taken with me," he said.

But police put a stop to that on Friday when they detained him, apparently after an anonymous complaint, and told him he would be fined between 154 and 929 euros for 'usurpation of title'.

He also had his white cassock confiscated. The exact fine is to be decided by a court.


"The problem was that he looked a lot like Karol Wojtyla. He was detained for usurpation of title which is a misdemeanour," a police spokeswoman told AFP.

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