Some things are best left to the experts - as one Spanish church learnt this week after outsourcing the restoration of a 16th century sculpture to a local arts and crafts teacher. The church is now under fire by locals, experts and Internet alike as the finished product looks more like a cartoon figurine than a priceless piece of history.
Images circulating on social media show the drastic before and after of the sculpture. The polychrome statue of St George charging at a dragon was housed in the Church of St Michael in the town of Estella in Spain's Navarre region, reported CNN. Before the "frightening" makeover, the sculpture had turned dark brown with time. After the restoration, it has been freshly painted with a brand new armour and a pink face. The horse too appears to have been revamped.
The mayor of Estella told The Guardian that local authorities weren't informed before the church commissioned the restoration work. "The parish decided on its own to take action to restore the statue and gave the job to a local handicrafts teacher. The council wasn't told and neither was the regional government of Navarre," mayor Koldo Leoz told the newspaper.
The priest, however, said the decision was well intentioned and he simply wanted the sculpture to be cleaned, not restored, BBC quoted local news agency Efe.
Experts have been called in to assess the historic sculpture. But according to the mayor, the damage may be irreversible. "They've used plaster and the wrong kind of paint and it's possible that the original layers of paint have been lost," the mayor told The Guardian.
The group responsible for the job deleted its Facebook profile after anger and ridicule on social media. The group had reportedly posted a video depicting all stages of the restoration.
On Internet, many responded to the disastrous renovation with memes.
Mi padre dice que el San Jorge de Estella restaurado se parece a Tintn. pic.twitter.com/KIpAbQgKBy— Ana Menéndez (@anuska_truska) June 26, 2018
Disney también est comprando a los ecce homo. Por ahora tiene ya a San Jorge de la Estrella y lo ha restaurado. pic.twitter.com/rnApW1hJ5D— Las crnicas de Deckard (@cronicasdeckard) June 26, 2018
Madre ma San Jorge. pic.twitter.com/8tY0YxMzDU— M (@KIud0) June 26, 2018
The St George sculpture is a cruel reminder to the 19th-century "Ecce Homo" Jesus fresco from Spain's Borja which was ruined when a local art restorer decided to "fix it". The mural went so viral, it became a meme and even inspired an opera.
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