The process of modern art restoration has become a highly non-invasive and scientific one which usually brings masterpieces back to their former glory. But the term “usually” can be misleading. Like in the case of the restoration process of a 16-Century Spanish wooden statue of St. Jorge, or St. George. Instead of making the statue look as if it was new, the restorer obliterated every detail of the saint’s face. Now, he has big browneyes and a peachy skin tone. His armor, saddle and horse were also completely changed, and they now look monochromatic in only two shades: grey and red.
Some experts even suggested that the 16-Century statue of St. George fighting a dragon now resembles a Pixar character. Others even compared the botched restoration with a similarly-disastrous one in the town of Borja. The 2012 “monkey Jesus” fresco was created by an elderly artist who wanted to restore an old painting. According to reports, St. George was not looking very good before the restoration. The wood was dark, and the pain was flaking off. So, a local priest decided to do something about it. And he did.
A botched restoration of a St. George Spanish statue
— Newstalk (@NewstalkFM) June 28, 2018
He hired a local teacher from a handicrafts school to solve the situation. Carmen Usua, who is a professional restorer, is the one who brought the atrocity in front of the media. She admitted that she felt offended by what happened because it takes years before someone can call themselves a restorer. If everyone would be able to do it, then we would only have monkey Jesuses and Pixar-like St. Georges around.
What’s even more frustrating is that the original statue was a rare example of polychrome sculpture. This means that it was painted after being carved first through a special technique. For now, nobody knows whether or not the statue will be fixed or even if it’s possible to do it now.
Image source: pxhere