Online critics joked it was a monument to Bucharest's stray dogs, while even the museum's curator admitted it was of "doubtful artistic quality."
Suspicions about the material used were raised in 2017 when the statue was vandalized. Experts fixing the tail of the she-wolf noticed it was made of brass.
In a radio interview for Europa FM, Bolborea insisted he was the victim of "a smear campaign, an act of revenge." The artist said he had received "nothing but abuse, which began in 2017 when the Bucharest Town Hall commissioned a monument dedicated to the Romanian Centenary, worth 11 million euros [$13.3m] and then decided to pull out of the contract."
He added: "I pushed for the contract to be upheld since I had already started work on the monument. Seeing there was no way to get me to back down, they came up with this."
Bolborea is under police investigation for allegedly using inferior materials for his statues. The contracts between him and the Bucharest Town Hall compelled him to use bronze for his statues, but the sculptor confirmed in the interview that he had also used brass.
"I can't say how much bronze and brass I used for my statues," he confirmed.
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty quoted a metals retailer, who said that, although bronze was usually the more expensive of the two metals, its pricing was "very volatile" and brass could sometimes be more expensive, depending on the metal's grade.