This nearly completed art collection will only be found in Cleveland and Italy (photos)

The Matthew 25 Collection hopes to inspire conversations about compassion and empathy
Published: Dec. 26, 2021 at 3:20 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 28, 2021 at 4:57 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Passersby stopped in their tracks early Sunday morning to take in something new on W. 25th Street in Ohio City.

Before them stood a bronze sculpture called “When I Was Sick.”

The statue is part of an art installation called the Matthew 25 Collection; there are six statues in total by Canadian artist Timothy Schmalz.

The Jesus statues meant to inspire conversations around helping people in need and not turning a blind eye.

Pretty soon, all six statues in the collection will be here in the city of Cleveland thanks non-profit Community West Foundation and partners. The statues will be permanent.

Two of the sculptures were already here: one at The Old Stone Church on Public Square called “When I Was Hungry and Thirsty” and one on Fulton Road at Family Ministry Center called ”When I Was In Prison.”

Recently installed, one at Saint Malachi Parish on Washington Ave. called, “Homeless Jesus.”

“The When I Was Naked” statue has been delivered to Cleveland and will be displayed at Malachi House on Clinton Ave.

In spring 2022, “When I Was A Stranger” will be installed here at The Refugee Response headquarters when new construction is complete.

Cleveland will be the second city in the world, following Rome, Italy, to have the full collection of all six bronze figures.

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