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In what can only be described as an art conservation nightmare, a 19th C. church fresco in the town of Borja, Spain, by painter Elías García Martínez has been radically “restored” by an octogenarian neighbor, “who, noticing the damage to the painting, took it upon herself to restore the painting ‘with good intentions’ but ‘without asking permission,’ as culture councillor Juan Maria de Ojeda put it. It became clear to the amateur restorer — quickly, one imagines — that ‘she had gotten out of hand,’ and she confessed to local authorities.”

I particularly like how the crown of thorns has transformed into a fur hood, which seems a lot more reasonable for a fashion forward son of God. Why visually produce pain, when you can create a halo of comfort and luxury? The image of Jesus, which has no clearly articulated mouth, is obviously speechless on the matter — or is that surprise?

h/t Gawker

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Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.

6 replies on “Lessons in Radical Art Restoration: What Not to Do 101”

  1. i know it’s supposed to be bad, but i like what he did WAY better than a faithful restoration.

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