Another Church. Another Well-Intentioned Restorer. Another Botched Work of Art. June 26, 2018

Another Church. Another Well-Intentioned Restorer. Another Botched Work of Art.

By now, just about everyone is familiar with the Ecce Homo in the Sanctuary of Mercy church in Borja, Spain. That’s the fresco featuring Jesus in a crown of thorns, painted in the 1930s, that a well-meaning artist named Cecilia Giménez offered to restore in 2012. The end result was a debacle that made the painting famous worldwide.

Now it’s happened again.

This time, a 500-year-old painted effigy of St. George battling a dragon, which sits in the Church of St. Michael in the Spanish town of Estella, has been renovated by someone who had no business doing it.

The end result, on the right, looks like a silly comic strip character more than a depiction of an ancient legend:

Even the local mayor couldn’t believe it. He said on Twitter that it was embarrassing that the city was in the news for this instead of the “spectacular historical, artistic, architectural and cultural” landmarks there.

[Mayor] Koldo Leoz told the Guardian: “The parish decided on its own to take action to restore the statue and gave the job to a local handicrafts teacher. The council wasn’t told and neither was the regional government of Navarre.”

The mayor said he had been to see the statue and was not happy with the result. “It’s not been the kind of restoration that it should have been for this 16th-century statue. They’ve used plaster and the wrong kind of paint and it’s possible that the original layers of paint have been lost.”

It’s too early to tell if this botched piece of art will also become an inadvertent tourist attraction. But with a face like that, who could possibly look away?

(Image via ArtUs Restauración Patrimonio. Thanks to Brian for the link)

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