The restoration of a statue in northern Spain is making headlines after conservationists denounced it this week for what they said was the transformation of a 500-year-old work of art into a “children’s cartoon” effigy.
In a post on its website, the Association of Conservators and Restorers of Spain blasted the restoration of the polychrome St. George statue in a church in Estella, in the Navarre region of northern Spain.
A staff member in the office of Estella mayor Koldo Leoz told ABC News that the restoration would have been initiated by the parish of St. Michael Church, which would have commissioned a local art school teacher who was happy “to help.”
The staff member in Leoz’s office said that Estella’s city council had not been involved in what he described to ABC News as the “grotesque” restoration and said that Leoz was investigating whether or not there is any possibility of removing the restoration without causing any more damage. The mayor was checking with experts about what they could do, according to the staff member.
The restoration has been compared to the infamous, similarly botched restoration of a painting in Borja, Spain, in 2012.
In that case, an 81-year-old Spanish woman decided to restore a fresco of Jesus in her local church.
After being criticized by art experts and internationally on social media talking about her “homemade restoration” of “Ecce Homo” by the Spanish painter Elias Garcia Martinez, the region turned it to their advantage. Ecce homo is Spanish for “behold the man.”
The town of Borja is now famous for the restoration, with many tourists coming to visit the church to see the disaster.