A statue of Jesus Christ is causing a sensation at an art gallery after witnesses said they saw sparks shooting from its eyes.
People are claiming the steel and bronze figure possesses miraculous powers and some visitors have taken to kneeling at its feet.
The sculpture, created by artist Brian Burgess, is on display at the Liverpool Academy of Art.
The steel and bronze work, titled ‘Cleansing of the Temple’, portrays an angry Jesus brandishing a whip ready to drive out the moneylenders from the temple.
Academy manager June Lurnie says its one of the most controversial works ever displayed there.
She added: ‘Some people have said the portrait is evil and they can see sparks in Jesus’s eyes. Others actually kneel down and go into a trance convinced they are connecting with God.’
Sculptor Burgess said: ‘It began when one woman who saw the statue fell to her knees and began praying.
‘She was transfixed for more than thirty minutes and when she came out of the trance she said she had witnessed sparks coming from the eyes of the Christ figure.
‘Now the word has spread and we have hoards of people coming along to pray and venerate the statue and many of them have said they have witnessed these sparks too.’
He added: ‘I worked on the piece for about a year but I never saw any sparks apart from those coming from the welding torch.’