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Giant pope face ploughed into field

The portrait took six hours to complete and is the latest piece of land-art by the artist who says he uses his plough as a painter would a brush, on farmland belonging to his parents.

Over the past few years Mr Gambarin has produced a giant image of Edvard Munch's iconic The Scream and a portrait of US President Barack Obama, 'drawn' to coincide with his visit to Italy in July 2009 for the G8 summit.

Thanks to a highly developed technique Mr Gambarin does not measure the field before starting his work, but is seemingly able to create perfectly-dimensioned giant images with just an innate sense of proportion and ability to drive a tractor.

The sheer scale of his pictures mean they can only be viewed by flying over the countryside of the province of Verona.

Mr Gambarin deletes his works after a few days so that the field can be cultivated as usual, so the works are always executed between the harvest of the crop and the sowing of seed for the next one.

Explaining why he chose to portray Pope Francis, Mr Gambarin said he was struck by Francis' announcement that he would lead a worldwide day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria September 7, and wanted to contribute something to the pontiff's appeal.

Francis invited Catholics, other Christians, those of other faiths and non-believers who are "men of good will" to join him that evening in St. Peter's Square to invoke the "gift" of peace for Syria, the rest of the Middle East and worldwide where there is conflict.

Source: APTN

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