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.
Changes to a 16th-century polychrome statue of San Jorge (St George) provoked anger among some art experts and inevitable comparisons to another botched restoration—the Ecce Homo fresco of Jesus https://t.co/78YGKCOtQF pic.twitter.com/O3dDThfg1O
— CNN (@CNN) June 27, 2018
Remember the “ecce homo” painting in Spain that was called one of the worst restoration projects in modern history? It has new competition. https://t.co/64FNwL9qvY
— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 27, 2018
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.
— Canoe (@Canoe) June 27, 2018
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:
— SLEEPTHIEF (@sleepthiefmusic) June 28, 2018
“Is That St. George or Tintin?”
Spanish traditions… Borja's Ecce Homo 2. https://t.co/Y8hLHuaQCO
— Col·lectiu ComuniCATs (@comuni_cats) June 27, 2018
It's Stingey from lazy town! pic.twitter.com/iyKRe0Jxid
— Lora with an O (@LoraWithAn_O) June 28, 2018
— coco! (@ugoglencoco) June 27, 2018
— Alicia P. (@aliciapangg) June 28, 2018
The Ecce Homo fresco game was on fire!
“Hello again…” pic.twitter.com/LNHmHleMj7
— Scott Maier (@samaier) June 27, 2018
Not as good as the Ecce Homo fresco of Jesus but still really shite https://t.co/NVLpGPq3WF
— GraffitiOnTheWall (@GraffitiOTW) June 27, 2018
I have a feeling of dena vu…https://t.co/PgDL4BfkA0
— I fling poo here (@iflingpoohere) June 28, 2018
Both are just a travesty
— Melissa Downie (@MelissaDownie1) June 28, 2018
— Ami (@Dolphins2Dogs) June 27, 2018
— Ray (@aManNamedRay) June 27, 2018
These need no translation…
Pues no sé, a mí me mola cómo ha quedado la restauración del San Jorge de Estella. pic.twitter.com/DGwNzYrerz
— Diego Bober (@DiegoBober) June 24, 2018
San Jorge de Estella
— M30Norte (@M30Norte) June 26, 2018
Nuevas fuentes informan que la restauradora del San Jorge de Estella es muy fan de Tintín… pic.twitter.com/2ZtaRyqxNi
— franXu (@panse1981) June 26, 2018
Just a quick reminder to all you DIY art restorationists out there—don’t. #NeverForgetStGeorge
H/T: Twitter, NY Times