Botched statue restoration draws ridicule in Spain

 Botched statue restoration draws ridicule in Spain

Move over, “Monkey Jesus.” The latest in a series of bizarre art restoration attempts to hit Spain has been spotted in the northern city of Palencia.

A statue on the outside of a building on the city’s historic main street has been left disfigured after a mysterious restorer tried to repair its broken head.

Local artist Antonio Capel noticed the work on Friday and uploaded photos to Facebook that quickly garnered plenty of attention online.

“It looks like a cartoon character,” Capel wrote in the post.
The restored statue has been widely ridiculed.

The restored statue has been widely ridiculed. Credit: Antonio Capel

Capel, whose studio is across the road from the statue, told CNN he hasn’t been able to find out who carried out the work, or who commissioned it.

He said crowds of people have been gathering to take a look at the statue after his photos did the rounds online and were picked up in Spanish media.

Capel told CNN he doesn’t understand why amateur restorers think they can take on these projects, or why those responsible for the artworks authorize the work.

The statue is part of the facade on this building on Palencia's historic Calle Mayor.

The statue is part of the facade on this building on Palencia’s historic Calle Mayor. Credit: Antonio Capel

“I don’t understand why they allow it,” Capel told CNN. “It doesn’t seem normal to me.”

Spain’s Professional Association of Conservators and Restorers also spoke out about the work.

“THIS #IsNotRestoration,” the organization tweeted. “It’s a NON-professional intervention.”

Capel believes the attempted restoration is worse than the famous job on a flaking fresco of Jesus on a church wall in the town of Borja in 2012.

Amateur restorer Cecilia Gimenez was widely criticized for her work, but it’s turned into a strange success story.

Not only did the “Monkey Jesus,” as it has become known, cause an internet sensation, it has also drawn visitors to Borja in their thousands.

In 2018, the botched restoration of a 16th-century polychrome statue of St. George in the Church of St. Michael in Estella, a town in the Navarre region, provoked anger among art experts.

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