Another Botched Restoration Revealed in Spain

After a series of painfully botched amateur restorations that produced outcomes like a “Beast Jesus,” a Virgin Mary dressed with makeup, and a toy-like Saint George, another restoration project in Spain has gone terribly wrong.

A sculpture of a smiling woman farmer that previously adorned an early 20th-century building in the city of Palencia in northern Spain was replaced with a deformed figure that sets a new record of hideousness.

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The grotesque makeover transformed the woman’s likeness into a melted face. Some, including the Guardian’s Sam Jones, have cleverly likened its pouty countenance to that of the outgoing American president, Donald Trump.

Local artist Antonio Guzmán Capel was first to surface the farcical restoration on Facebook. “It looks like the head of a cartoon character,” he wrote of the new sculpture, adding that it rivals the infamous “Beast Jesus” (or “Monkey Jesus”) in the city of Borja.

Instead of blaming the artist who made the sculpture, Guzmán wrote that the responsibility for the mangled restoration lies with those who commissioned the work.

“I’m sure whoever did it got paid for it,” said Guzmán. “But the bigger crime was committed by the person who commissioned it and then tried to carry on as though nothing was wrong.”

Spain’s Professional Association of Restorers claimed in a tweet that the restoration is not the work of a professional. “THIS #IsNotARestoration. It is a NOT professional intervention,” the tweet said.

In June, following the botched restoration of a baroque painting by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, the association issued a statement calling for stricter regulations on the restoration of artwork.

“We all must be alarmed to think that our Heritage is disappearing because of these disastrous actions,” the statement said. “The lack of regulation of this activity, key for conservation and restoration of our Cultural Heritage, and the nonexistent or negligible sanctions imposed on these events, are an endemic problem in our country, which must be ended by the competent administrations.”

Another Botched Restoration Revealed in Spain is from Hyperallergic, a forum for serious, playful, and radical thinking about art in the world today.


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