A picture is usually worth a thousand words, but this painting restoration is only worth five: What the hell is this?
An art collector in Valencia, Spain reportedly hired a furniture restorer to come over to clean up his copy of Bartolomé Esteban Murillo’s “The Immaculate Conception of Los Venerables.” The original piece was painted in 1678 and is an interpretation of two important biblical events: the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption.
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The furniture restorer charged the art collector almost $1,400 for the job. It appears all went according to plan until the restorer got to the Virgin Mary’s face, which is when either stage fright set in or the restorer became inspired to improvise a little.
The original is on the left. The two attempts at "restoring" it are on the right. Ouch.
"Experts call for regulation after latest botched art restoration in Spain: Immaculate Conception painting by Murillo reportedly cleaned by furniture restorer."https://t.co/t3kAIZYnNS pic.twitter.com/m8Kabrt7Qu
— Mark Rees (@reviewwales) June 22, 2020
The face is completely unrecognizable.
Nothing you can do about it, it is meant to be, Karen. pic.twitter.com/ndi5xoGLsS
— James Billingham (@oolon) June 22, 2020
While Twitter had a field day making memes out of it, art experts are livid.
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,” 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 set Twitter off as well. Perhaps Carrera had a point.
If you’re looking for some good art, you might like checking out In The Know’s profile on the artist who’s made 120 landmarks with 5 million toothpicks.
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