A Valencia-based art collector did not think that the Virgin Mary painting done by the baroque artist Bartolome Esteban Murillo will become unrecognizable post restoration. The restorer apparently tried their hands on the painting twice but with no avail.
According to a report by BBC, the collector had paid the private furniture restorer a whopping sum of $1,355 but received a botched up painting in return. In the original painting, Virgin Mary can be seen staring up towards heaven with her palms joined together in a prayer like stance. The reconstructed version has left Mary with thin arched eyebrows, a straight nose and an overall face structure that looks like an amateur’s portrait.
This highlights Spain’s plight with restoring classic pieces of art. In the past, several such cases have emerged from the country. Earlier, in 2012 a woman had tried to restore a painting of Jesus called the ‘Ecco Homo’. But the repaint gave birth to a famous meme in return, which has been dubbed as the ‘Potato Jesus’.
Two years ago, again in Spain, a wooden figure of St. George made in the 16th century was restored to look nothing like the original. People found it similar to the character of Woody from the Toy Story franchise.
The BBC report adds that there is no law in Spain that can stop people from restoring old artwork. The restorers’ forum in Spain called the Professional Association of Restorers and Conservators (Acre) has called for strict action against such kind of “vandalism”.