It was supposed to be a simple conservation cleaning and it ended up into a disaster. The last artistic blasphemy of the restoration of an artwork took place in Spain, Valencia to be exact, where a private collector has put under restoration a piece of the Spanish Master from the 600’s Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, one of the main representatives of the European Baroque from the 17th century.

The “restorers”, if they can be called so, after having annihilated the work of the Spanish master, have sent to the collector, remained anonymous, an invoice of  1,200 euro for the service provided, obviously remained unpaid. The owner of the painting tried to mend the artwork by a second group of professionals, but the damage was done by then and the face of the Virgin Queen was destroyed for good.

Below: the series of paintings: on the left the original one by Murillo, on the top right the 1st restoration and on the bottom right the 2nd and last one

The result of such a massacre is curiously similar to another “masterpiece” of another restorer, improvised as such out of the blue. It is the famous “Ecce homo” by the artist Elías García Martínez, painted on a wall of Borja church that in 2012 was wrecked by the constancy of an ancient woman who picked up brushes and paint and covered up the ancient work with a deformed mask  of the Messiah of the Aragonese church.

Professor Fernando Carrera, from the Galician School for the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage, commented with harsh words, leaving a warning to all the art collectors:

“I don’t think this guy – or these people – should be referred to as restorers.Let’s be honest: they’re bodgers who botch things up. They destroy things.Can you imagine just anyone being allowed to operate on other people? Or someone being allowed to sell medicine without a pharmacist’s licence? Or someone who’s not an architect being allowed to put up a building?We see this kind of thing time and time again and yet it keeps on happening. Paradoxically, it shows just how important professional restorers are. We need to invest in our heritage, but even before we talk about money, we need to make sure that the people who undertake this kind of work have been trained in it”

Source: The Guardian

Matteo Rubboli

I am a publisher specialised in the digital distribution of culture and founder of the portal Vanilla Magazine. I don't wear a tie or branded clothes, I keep my hair short so I don't have to comb it. That's not my fault but just the way I've been drawn as...

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