The statue of St. Martin de Porres at Blackfriars Priory School in suburban Adelaide shows the bread being held at crotch level as the smiling boy gazes up with a hand reaching for the loaf.
“The two-dimensional concept plans for the statue were viewed and approved by the Executive Team in May but upon arrival the three-dimensional statue was deemed by the Executive to be potentially suggestive,” principal Simon Cobiac said in an apology posted on Facebook.
The statue was made in Vietnam, but a local sculptor has been hired to redesign it.
Photos posted online show the statue first covered in a dark shroud, then placed behind a black fence.
“It’s hilarious. It’s absolutely hilarious,” a local artist, Driller Jet Armstrong, told 7 News Adelaide. “I love it. I love an art scandal.” He was not involved in the design of the statue.
Martin de Porres lived in Peru from 1579 to1639 and was canonized by Pope John XXIII in 1962. The son of a Spanish nobleman and a freed slave, he is the patron saint of the mixed race, barbers, public health workers and innkeepers.