'Potato Head of Palencia': Botched Restoration of Spanish Statue Draws Flak on Social Media
Photo: Facebook/Antonio Capel Artista
The 20th century artists must be turning in their graves after an unfortunate restoration of their work in Spain turned out to be an amateur's work. The incident happened at the Unicaja bank’s building in the Spanish city of Palencia and has become the butt of jokes on social media, and even prompted a comparison to US president Donald Trump.
The restoration of the figure on the headquarters of the bank was posted on social media by noted painter Antonio Guzmán Capel. The artist publicly denounced the “grotesque restoration” which has now joined the infamous ranks of ‘Potato Jesus’ and the mauled ‘Immaculate Conception.’ Originally, the artwork featured a smiling face of a woman as part of a Biblical statuary on top of the Unicaja Bank headquarters in Palencia, however after its apparent “restoration”, the sculpture has become a crude parody, as local artist Antonio Guzman Capel pointed out on Facebook post. It is being called the "Potato Head of Palencia."
In his post, Antonio further said that the head of the sculpture looks like the head of a cartoon character. Taking a dig at the artist, Antonio said that he is sure that whoever did it got paid for it, but the bigger crime was committed by the person who commissioned it and then tried to carry on as though nothing was wrong.
The bank headquarter was originally built for the Catholic-Agrarian Federation in 1923, which is why it had religious statuary along its facade. The artwork was mocked on Twitter where a user posted a before and after image of the statue. Tweeting in Spanish, the user said that Palencia now has its own Ecce Hommo restoration disaster. He further said that he suspects the restoration worker was pro Trump and was carried away by the emotion of the recently concluded US elections.
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
I love me a good botched #artrestoration, don’t you? So many good ones to choose from.. 1 The new #Palencia statue2 #ImmaculateConception (several attempts)3 The “fluorescent” #Ranadorio carving4 The “evergreen” #EcceHomo pic.twitter.com/xfNu6YFqoj— Kitty La Roar (@kittylaroar) November 11, 2020
The Ecce Homo restoration work, which was infamously also called the "Potato Jesus", remains one of the most mocked restoration works. It was the first and the most famous century-old painting of Jesus on the wall of a church in Spanish city of Borja. After a parishioner tried to restore the flaking paint, the result became known as “Monkey Christ” or “Potato Jesus,” and has since been embraced by Borja as a tourist attraction.