Bartolomé Esteban Murillos original work (left) and one of the restoration attempts Photo: Cedida/Europa Press
The angelic face of the Virgin Mary has been left unrecognisable after a furniture restorer attempted to treat a painting of the Immaculate Conception. Owned by an anonymous Valencia-based collector, the painting—which is a copy of a 17th-century work by the Spanish Baroque artist Bartolomé Esteban Murillo—was sent to an unnamed furniture specialist to be cleaned at a cost of €1,200, according to the Spanish outlet Europa Press. Upon seeing the first attempt the owner requested that the painting be fixed, only to be made worse. The collector has now contacted a trained painting specialist in the hopes of restoring the work.
The incident has sparked debate in Spains art conservation community, which says the country needs stricter rules on the restoration of art and heritage. “The works that undergo this type of non-professional intervention can end up irreversibly damaged," says María Borja, one of the vice presidents of Spains Professional Association of Restorers and Conservators (ACRE), speaking to Europa Press. She adds that setting up regulations for the industry is one of the fundamental objectives of ACRE.
The "restoration" of an Elias Garcia Martinez fresco in the Santuario de Misericordia de Borja church in Zaragoza, Spain Photo: Centro de Estudios Borjanos/EPA
This case is the latest in a long line of infamous botched restorations in the country. In 2012, an Ecce Homo fresco in the Santuario de la Misericordia in Borja was “treated” by a well-intentioned but untrained parishioner—the resulting distorted image became knRead More – Source