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Do you remember Ecce Homo and the statue of St. George? There’s one more disfigured image…

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Do you remember Ecce Homo and the statue of St. George? There's one more disfigured image...

The most mediated of cases makes us retreat until 2012, when the intervention of an 80-year-old parishioner ran world due to the unexpected result in the painting Ecce Homo, by Elías García Martinez, fresco that adorned the walls in the sanctuary of Borja. After this episode in Zaragoza, which originated hundreds of memes, new news of the genre would arrive in June 2018 — again from the neighboring country.

The subject was then the image of St. George, mounted on his horse fighting the dragon, and who then fell victim to an “excessive” restoration, and the use of the word restoration requires some consideration. The 500-year-old piece is in the church of San Miguel de Estella in Navarra, was restored without authorization from the region’s Historical Heritage Service, and returned to the world, given the competition it offered to the 2012 mishap.

Remember the “ecce homo” painting in Spain that was called one of the worst restoration projects in modern history? It has new competition. https://t.co/ckYzSlbZFu

— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 26, 2018

The original image of St. George, the amateur restoration, and the new professional restoration already done in the meantime (images from the Historical Heritage Service of Navarra)

Arriving in June 2020, there is another unsuccessful intervention to give that talk, and to lead the Association of Conservatives and Restoration of Spain to regret what happened, and calling for stricter regulation to watch over the good name of the class and, above all, to avoid the ruin of works such as these, in any case mentioned delivered to the hands of amateurs, or at least non-specialized craftsmen. They also ask that the subject not be converted “into a cause of media and social fun”, like the viral character that took on the feat of 2012, by Cecilia Giménez who tried by his own fist to repair the harmful effects of humidity in Ecce Homo, a work dated 1930.

Do you remember Ecce Homo and the statue of St. George? There's one more disfigured image...

In 2012, the result of the intervention in the work Ecce Homo made by a parishioner ran world © DR

The most recent flop does not involve an individual initiative on a public good, therefore assuming less importance, even unknown the value of the picture. He is a private collector established in Valencia, who was “astonished” when he conferred the final result on a copy by the Baroque artist Bartolomé Esteban Murillo (1617-1682). The news was advanced by Europa Press, which also counts as the owner of the painting paid 1,200 euros for cleaning the screen with the image of the Immaculate Conception, having resorted to the prestimos of a specialist in restoration of… Furniture. Despite two attempts to rectify the outcome of the process, the images now appear totally mischaracterized.

El dueño de la copia desfigurada de una Inmaculada se muestra “atónito” y lamenta la pérdida de “sentido y valor” https://t.co/vBVtAkTNbT

— Europa Press (@europapress) June 23, 2020

“It totally loses meaning and value”, the collector, whose identity was not revealed, told Europa Press after the attempt to recover the original features of the Virgin, in the aftermath of the intervention in this piece with 120 by 80 cm. Dated the beginning of the twentieth century, it is part of a family collection, being in his possession since 2006. Darkened by time, the owner entrusted the destinies of his cleaning to a trusted person he had always known, and who had taken care of his furniture successfully, rejecting that he had thus opted for a more economical and less specialized version.

The original and the two restore attempts

The original and the two restore attempts. Europe-Press

A first approach resulted from an unforeseen result and the second opportunity granted did not bring a better picture. “It got worse and worse,” admitted the Valencian collector, with his face and hands being the most affected parts on the screen. “This gentleman as a furniture restorer is very good, but not as a paint restorer. They are very different things”, now admits the owner of the copy.

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