10/24/2016 11:04 EDT | Updated 10/24/2016 11:14 EDT

Ontario Baby Jesus Statue's Missing Head Returned

SUDBURY, Ont. — The missing head of a statue of baby Jesus has been returned, and the bright orange clay head that replaced it has been removed.

Gerard Lajeunesse, the priest at the Ste. Anne des Pins parish in Sudbury, Ont., says the head was returned to him on Friday.

ontario jesus statue

The bright orange clay head that replaced the statue's missing head has been removed. (Photo: Gino Donato/The Canadian Press)

The statue had recently been fitted with the temporary clay head — topped with a spiky orange crown — crafted by a local artist, which garnered international attention and was compared online to a character on “The Simpsons” or to the infamously botched restoration of a fresco of Jesus in Spain.

Lajeunesse says the stolen head was returned to him on Friday, by a woman he knew.

Statue to remain headless, for now

He says the woman, who he wouldn't identify, came upon the head through her work, but didn't realize it belonged to the church until she saw the media reports about the orange replacement.

Lajeunesse says the replacement had already been removed by the time he got the original head back.

He says it was necessary to prevent the orange clay from staining the white stone of the statue.

Lajeunesse says for now, the statue will remain headless. Before replacing it, the church needs to figure out how to secure it safely to the statue and prevent it from being stolen again.

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