Giorgio da Como (attrib.)
The Lions at Ancona Cathedral
Veronese red marble
Metropolitan Cathedral-Basilica of Saint Cyriacus, Ancona, Italy
As explained in my page on lions as symbols, lions at the entrance represent the spiritual perils of the world from which the faithful escape in entering the church. It is common for them to hold victims in their paws, as in these statues outside Ancona's cathedral.
The lion on the right holds a struggling bird; the one on the left, a lamb. Traditionally a bird symbolizes the soul (Sill, 17). The lamb can represent either Christ or an individual member of his "flock." In the commentaries on lion references in the Psalms, the victim is sometimes explained as Christ when denounced by the "roars" of the mob (e.g. Augustine on 21:44) but more frequently as the individual Christian, especially the martyr (Glossa Ordinaria, III, cols. 502, 1234).
Each of the lion sculptures is the base of a pillar supporting the cathedral's portal.
View in full resolution the lion on the left and the lion on the right.
Read more about lions as symbols.
Photographed at the cathedral by Richard Stracke, shared under Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.