An attempted restoration of a painting dating back 300 years has left art experts outraged while the “botched” job has quickly gone viral online.
An art collector in Valencia, Spain, hired a furniture restorer to come over to clean up his copy of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo’s “The Immaculate Conception of Los Venerables”, Europa Press reported.
The original piece was painted in 1678 and is an interpretation of two important biblical events: the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption.
The collector paid the furniture restorer about $2000 for the job, yet the Virgin Mary’s face was left unrecognisable after two attempts to restore it.
Life is tough, and much is depressing, but I will still laugh to the point of tears at a botched restoration of a painting. pic.twitter.com/fWtETDEqTs— Brad Johnson (@AhabLives) June 23, 2020
Before and after images quickly spread on social media, providing amusement for thousands on Twitter.
“Life is tough, and much is depressing, but I will still laugh to the point of tears at a botched restoration of a painting,” one person declared.
“Oh my god, they Mr.Bean'd it,” another wrote in reference to the Rowan Atkinson film where he draws a cartoon face on a destroyed Whistler’s Mother.
“HOW HAS IT HAPPENED AGAIN,” another asked.
Yet experts weren’t amused, lambasting the attempt.
Fernando Carrera, a professor at the Galician School for the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage, told the Guardian there should be stricter laws in place determining who can restore priceless works of art.
“Let’s be honest: they’re bodgers who botch things up. They destroy things,” Mr Carrera said.
“Can you imagine just anyone being allowed to operate on other people? Or someone being allowed to sell medicine without a pharmacist’s license? Or someone who’s not an architect being allowed to put up a building?”
The moment is reminiscent of the infamous “Monkey Christ” restoration project that went viral in 2013.
Who's laughing now? Spanish fresco of Christ which was given botched "monkey" restoration attracts 40,000 visitors http://t.co/bzRj5xn2Tq— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) August 13, 2013
In January 2020, a botched restoration of a 15th-century altarpiece also caused a stir on Twitter.
Mr Carrerra said the practice of destroying old artworks was far too common and said investment in heritage was needed as well as a tightening of laws around restorations to prevent such incidents occurring.
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