Three times is not the charm: For the third time in just a few years, an art “restoration” has resulted in a masterpiece being turned into a caricature of its former glory. A private art collector in Spain paid $1,255 to have a copy of a painting by Baroque artist Bartolomé Esteban Murillo cleaned of centuries of grime. Unfortunately, he paid for the cleaning to be conducted by a furniture restorer. Despite two attempts to fix it, the picture of the Immaculate Conception has been left unrecognizable. The incident drew comparisons with other “restorations” in Spain. Last year a 16th-century statue of St. George at a church in Navarre was restored, with many onlookers comparing its new look to a Playmobil figure. Finally, in 2012, an elderly parishioner attempted to restore a fresco of Jesus Christ at her local church near Zaragoza. Her paint job led to the painting being called the “Monkey Christ.” Conservation experts in Spain are now calling for a tightening of the laws covering restoration work. Before and after pictures are below.

Photos (top to bottom): BBC.com | EUROPA PRESS; BBC.com | CENTRO DE ESTUDIOS BORJANOS; and BBC.com |  ARTUS RESTAURACIÓN PATRIMONIO.

Photo: EUROPA PRESS

Photo: CENTRO DE ESTUDIOS BORJANOS

Photo: ARTUS RESTAURACIÓN PATRIMONIO

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5 responses to “Botched Art Restorations Shock Art Lovers”

  1. auntyem says:

    Ye gads, why do people do that? Why do they trust just anyone to “restore” portraits? Are the “restorers” relatives, legally blind, ill—? It would be better to just make a copy of the original an use a program like Photoshop to fill in the lost parts, no?

  2. mccg1949 says:

    This is truly tragic. I could have done a better job at age 10! It hurt just looking at the mess they made of the paintings!

  3. Hookman says:

    Dear Kovel’s , you should consider adding a ” like/don’t like ” option to your comments section, so we readers can let other readers and posters know what we think about a particular post.
    I think that if you currently had such an option, I would probably be leaving about 10 likes each to both ashes01 and had2haveit.
    Thank you for your great emag.

    Hookman

  4. had2haveit says:

    Truly I think my heart stopped for a few seconds after seeing the ruination of these three irreplaceable masterpieces. Having a daughter who is a Museum Curator (not an Art Conservator) and knowing the years of education she required I believe to graduate as a Conservator you must complete a four year program, do an internship and finally obtain your Master’s Degree. At some point I would expect these people must submit a sample of their work in order to graduate. What I can’t understand is why any museum would not insist that the Conservator who has been hired to do the restoration submit a list of clients they have done work for and to provide the museum with samples of their work. Personally I won’t even let someone paint my house without checking their references so who is responsible for dropping the ball on these three disasters?

  5. ashes01 says:

    What gives people the idea they can fix a Masters work of art? Are they crazy? Do they fancy themselves experts? Do they do this on their weekends? These people should not be allowed in a museum, yet touch and “restore,” a work of art. They should have all art supplies removed from their houses, be banned from all paint shops and craft stores, and barred for life from all the Worlds museums.

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