One of the strangest things about this timeline is that Spain, a famously cultured, historic haven for artists, is becoming known as the home for botched art restorations. Spain – and sh-tty Spanish art restorers – are responsible for some of the worst restorations in recent memory, including but not limited to the “Monkey Christ” fiasco, the garish fluorescent Mary bronze work and whatever happened to that poor painting of the Virgin Mary. Now there’s another: some Spanish art restorer was tasked with “fixing” a carving outdoors. It was noticed by a local artist, who posted the side-by-side of the original and potato-head “fix” on Facebook, where it went viral.
Spain, the country most famous for producing botched art restorations, has produced, for your viewing pleasure, yet another mauled artwork, this time in the city of Palencia. What was once a handsomely carved smiling female figure surrounded by livestock has been transformed into a claymation nightmare. In this case, which was first reported by a local news outlet, the results resemble a failed facelift undertaken on some poor, unwitting snowman. It’s almost as if a child was tasked with the job.
But really, what child could produce such a nightmare? The female figure’s head, once tilted downward, is now a smooth, egg shape, with cockeyed mismatched eye sockets stuck on. The figure’s nose is a soft mound, and the mouth is formed by two thin, slightly upturned lips, her cheeks and chin nowhere to be found. Taken together, the figure now resembles Donald Trump, one Twitter user noted, right down to the asymmetrical hair swoop.
On Facebook, Palencia resident Antonio Guzmán Capel noted that, while the restorer was doubtless at fault, the real criminal here was surely whomever commissioned the job and did nothing to rectify the grievous situation. The Professional Association of Restorers and Conservators, bless its heart, noted on Twitter that “this is NOT a professional restoration.”
As I was looking at coverage of this and other poorly restored art in Spain, I kept seeing something weird – every time one of these #RestorationFails happens in Spain, the damaged art becomes a tourist attraction. People genuinely want to travel to see these travesties, likely so they can have a good laugh in person. It’s now something of a cottage industry in Spain: grossly defacing historic art and then having that damaged art become a must-see for tourists.
The potato head of Palencia: defaced Spanish statue latest victim of botched restoration
"Conservation professionals have questioned why Spain's heritage is continually handed over to those with no formal training."https://t.co/O4b2lvxwkP pic.twitter.com/RZI3AI4go9
— Mark Rees (@reviewwales) November 11, 2020
— Bri 🌜 1312 (@CestLaBri) November 12, 2020
Sí, ha vuelto a ocurrir. #Palencia tiene ya su propio #eccehomo Sospecho que la restauradora igual era pro #Trump 🤦🏻♂️ y se ha dejado llevar por la emoción de estos días en las #EleccionesEEUU pic.twitter.com/sXS0H2AJxg
— Aitor Loizaga (@aitorloizaga) November 10, 2020
Photos courtesy of Twitter, Facebook.