Second Spanish Church Gets Botched Restoration of Holy Artifact

The effort to restore a 500-year-old artifact in the Spanish town of Estella didn't go so well.
The wooden effigy of St. George received a terrible makeover. ArtUs Restauracion Patrimonio

For the second time, a religious artifact in Spain has suffered a botched restoration of biblical proportions.

A painted wooden effigy of St. George has complemented a chapel in the town of Estella for 500 years. But a recent makeover by a handcrafts teacher commissioned by parish authorities has left the saint looking more like a cartoon character.

Rosy cheeks, badly drawn brows and a pinkish complexion now cover the saint who slew a dragon that demanded human sacrifices, according to lore.

The terrible results has prompted comparisons to the infamous "Ecce Homo" ruination by a well-intentioned restorer six years ago. The mural by Elias Garcia Martinez, a 19th century artist, was repainted by an amateur that left the visage of Jesus Christ looking like a "bloated hedgehog," according to one report at the time. 

the restoration of 'Ecce Homo' was also a disaster.
The restoration of 'Ecce Homo' was also a disaster. Wikipedia

The mayor of Estella is demanding to know why city officials weren't notified of the St. George project.   

“The parish decided on its own to take action to restore the statue and gave the job to a local handicrafts teacher. The council wasn’t told and neither was the regional government of Navarre,” Koldo Leoz told the Guardian.

Leoz said he had visited the chapel and was not pleased.

"They’ve used plaster and the wrong kind of paint and it’s possible that the original layers of paint have been lost," he said. “This is an expert job it should have been done by experts.”

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