5 of the quirkiest shrines to Maradona
Iglesia Maradoniana, Rosario, Argentina
Founded in 1998, the Church of Maradona draws thousands of worshippers from around the world. For them, football is religion and has only one God. The church celebrates two festival dates: Maradonian Easter on June 22, the anniversary of the Hand of God goal, and Maradonian Christmas on October 30, Maradona’s birthday.
Nilo, Naples, Italy
Here, in the city that worships Maradona for his exploits on behalf of Napoli, is Nilo, a coffee bar with a shrine to the hero that has become a place of pilgrimage for fans. Its altar is even said to hold a strand of Maradona’s hair, acquired by the bar’s owner Alcide Carmine (or so the story goes) on a flight he shared with the legend.
The Blue Nile Museum, Kannur, Kerala
Room 309 at the four-star Hotel Blue Nile, a suite where Maradona stayed for two days during a visit to India in 2012, has been turned into a shrine of sorts too. Guests can still stay here, but as they do, they are surrounded by giant frames on the walls holding everything from the accessories that were in the room during that visit to the bedsheets and even the shells of some prawns that Maradona ate.
The Wall at Largo degli Artisti, Naples, Italy
At the Largo degli Artisti square in Quartieri Spagnoli is a crowdsourced shrine that takes up an entire wall. Here, fans from around the world drop by to quietly leave Maradona memorabilia in thanks and tribute, from jerseys to pictures to flags.
The Creation of Messi, Buenos Aires, Argentina
In the nation’s capital, a local artist has taken Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam and recreated it with a twist. In the original, painted on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, God reaches out to Adam with the spark of life. Here, on the ceiling of Sportivo Pereyra, a local football club, Maradona extends his hand to pass that spark to Messi.
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