Botched ‘Restoration’ Of A 16th-Century Statue Is Drawing Comparisons To That Spanish Fresco

This likeness of St. George is a #EpicFail.

There it sat, five hundred years as a beloved statue, aging in an alcove of St. Michael’s Church in Estella, a town in northern Spain, and earning every bit of faded paint, cracks, and blemishes it had acquired over the years. 

But now the 16th-century wooden figure of St. George, which according to the New York Times, “was a rare example of the use of ‘polychrome’ layers of paint” with ‘incredible detail to the armor,'” has been ruined.

And it’s reminding everyone of another botched work—the Ecce Homo fresco of Jesus.

Apparently, the church had asked a local workshop to give the statue a makeover but without getting the authorization of the mayor and the region’s heritage institution, who only found out about the statue’s retouching after most of the damage had been done. 

The mayor of the town, Mr. Leoz told NY Times:

  People are disappointed and sad. Estella used to be known as a place that took care of its heritage, now we’re famous for the opposite.

Admittedly art restoration can’t be an easy gig, but as we saw with the highly memed Ecce Homo fresco restoration in the Sanctuary of Mercy church in Borja, Spain back in 2012, there is a definite right way and a wrong way to approach the restoration process.  

As Carmen Usúa, the owner of a restoration company in the Navarra region, of which Estella is a part, told the NY Times:

  As a professional, I feel disconcerted and very offended. It takes years to acquire the skills necessary to carry out these kind of restorations, so imagine the frustration when something like this happens.

After seeing the side-by-side the internet was lit:

The Ecce Homo fresco game was on fire!

These need no translation…

Just a quick reminder to all you DIY art restorationists out there—don’t. #NeverForgetStGeorge

H/T: Twitter, NY Times