Skip to main content

ANOTHER botched art restoration appears in Spain (and it's a shocker)

From 2012's infamous 'Monkey Jesus' to this year's abominable touching up of Murillo's Immaculate Conception, Spain has seen its fair share of botched art restorations recently – often to the delight of the internet. Yet another disaster has emerged, and it might just be the worst (or is that best?) of the bunch.

A carved figure adorning an early 20th-century building in Palencia has received a rather terrifying face-lift, transforming it from smiling woman to, well, we're not entirely sure. The only thing that is certain is that the so-called restorer could do with giving our art techniques guide a look. 

Botched statue

We're scared too  (Image credit: Antonio Guzman Capel)

Is it one of Star Wars' sand people? Is it Donald Trump (below)? Is it an entirely new species of human (crossed with melted cheese)? According to Spanish newspaper The Local, social media users in Spain have had a field day with the sculpture, comparing its new look with everything from plasticine to pond life. 

"The pictures are a bit blurry," said Facebook user Antonio Guzmán Capel, the first to share photos of the monstrosity online. “But you can see it looks like the head of a cartoon character.” 

See more

While it isn't clear who is responsible for the botched statue, it's proving yet another headache for Spain’s Professional Association of Restorers and Conservators. The organisation tweeted (below) to inform followers that this is "NOT a professional restoration" (just in case anyone was unsure). 

See more

Indeed, despite the online mirth caused by failed restorations, the Association of Restorers and Conservators isn't laughing. Back when The Immaculate Conception received its less-than-immaculate new paint job in June (below), the organisation lamented that the "lack of legal protections" for art (anyone can legally restore an artwork, regardless of their experience), was responsible for several acts of "vandalism" – no matter how well-intentioned. 

Botched 'Immaculate Conception' painting

Murillo's Immaculate Conception received not one but two botched restorations this year (Image credit: Cedida por Coleccionista)

But even professional restorations can yield surprising results. This January, a restoration of 15th Century painting The Ghent Altarpiece revealed that it had been painted over in the 16th Century – hiding a lamb with a strange, sassy face

Time will tell whether Palencia's Trump-esque statue will gain a 'Monkey Jesus' level of notoriety – but it'll certainly be haunting our nightmares for the next few days. Or until the next botched restoration comes along.

Read more:

Daniel Piper

Daniel Piper is senior news editor at Creative Bloq, and an authority on all things art, design, branding and tech. He has a particular penchant for Apple products – some corners of the internet might call him an 'iSheep', but he's fine with this. It doesn't bother him at all. Why would it? They're just really nicely designed products, okay? Daniel is also a comedian and national poetry slam champion, and his favourite Bond is, obviously, Sean Connery.