A second art restoration fails to impress public opinion

A second art restoration fails to impress public opinion
Copyright ArtUs Restauración Patrimonio- ACRE
Copyright ArtUs Restauración Patrimonio- ACRE
By Cristina Abellan Matamoros
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Second ancient effigy falls prey to a well-intentioned restorer in Spain.


A second Spanish art restoration is making headlines across the world. This time, the art piece involved is the St George statue in the northern town of Estella in Navarra.

The 16th-century wood sculpture of the saint on horseback was restored by a local craft school called Karmacolor Estella.

In the attempt to freshen St George up, the famous patron saint was left with rosy cheeks and a red-and-grey armour.

Local historian and member of Navarro’s Culture Council Mikel Zuza compared the new version of the statue “something you would find in a fair’s carrousel”.

Zuza criticised the ‘renovation’ work as a “disgraceful intervention that poor Saint George has suffered.”

“I imagine he would’ve liked to run away on his horse before it took place. Too bad he couldn’t actually run away.”

Twitter users likened the restoration to children’s characters such as Tintin.

The Spanish Association of Curators and Restorers (ACRE) denounced "the poor restoration standards that permanently damaged a jewel of the Navarro's heritage”.

ACRE will file a legal complaint against those responsible for the "unfortunate intervention" in a 16th-century polychrome wood carving.

The restoration mistake has been likened to the now infamous disfiguring of Ecce Homo (Behold the Man) fresco of Jesus Christ in 2012.

Pamplona’s Archdiocese told the Spanish news agency EFE that the parish authorities of the Church of St Michael did not ask for a full restoration of the statue but asked for a part to be “cleaned up,” to explain why he asked for the paintwork in the first place.

Koldo Leoz, the mayor of Estella, has told media that the restoration was not authorised by the region's heritage institution.

He said he doesn't think the work was done "with malice", but that the sculpture wasn't treated responsibly.

The tweet reads: "Today Estella is not in the news for its spectacular historic, artistic, and architectic heritage, but for the disgrace that occurred on a 16th centry St George statue that lies in one of the religious temples of the city."

The craft shop did not respond to telephone calls made by Euronews.

Six years ago, a woman's failed efforts to restore a fresco of a Christ in the northeastern city of Borja quickly went viral. But her work eventually gained popularity with millions of tourists going to the small town to see the renovation.

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