A Japanese artist has produced a bronze bust of Pope Francis, his third papal statue to be presented for the Vatican.

Nobuyuki Okumura, who resides in Italy, said the pope appears different when his facial expression changes as his heart sinks or opens.

“I tried to capture the best expression because the statue will remain for 2,000 or 3,000 years to come,” the 64-year-old, who modeled his work on photos and video footage, said during a recent interview.

The 75-centimeter-tall bust, commissioned by an individual close to the Vatican, was placed in front of the entrance of the Vatican Library’s Barberini hall in July.

According to Okumura, few artists have produced more than one papal sculptures other than 17th-century master Gian Lorenzo Bernini.

“It is an honor, and I am proud as a Japanese,” he said. “I hope to expand the possibility of representational sculpture.”

Okumura’s sculptures of Pope Francis’ immediate predecessors were also presented to the Vatican: a bust of the late John Paul II in 2003 and a full-length statue of Benedict XVI in 2006.

Okumura said he was repeatedly thanked for his work when he met John Paul II. Benedict XVI also told him, “I give blessings to people, but today I was blessed by you.”

Sculptures of popes that go on permanent display at the Vatican have been created by masters of the times, such as Donatello and Michelangelo.

Okumura, originally from Tokyo, moved to Italy in 1985 and studied under noted sculptor Emilio Greco.