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New York — A publicity stunt featuring a life-size wax figure of Pope Francis appearing to wave from the back of a convertible caused some confusion before the real pontiff showed up in New York City.

Officials at Madame Tussauds New York debuted their wax pope Thursday, showing the white-robed figure off around Manhattan in a popemobile-like car hours before Francis’ plane arrived.

But spokeswoman Hillary Karsten says a surprised onlooker called police after mistakenly believing the figure was actually the pope.

Karsten said police officials contacted Madame Tussauds to make sure their pope was in fact wax. The New York Police Department didn’t immediately return a message seeking details about the mix-up.

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