(NEXSTAR) — This was not an immaculate restoration.
A furniture restorer was hired by an anonymous owner to clean up a copy of “The Immaculate Conception of Los Venerables,” a famous work by Baroque artist Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Europa Press reported.
After two attempts, the Virgin Mary looked like a victim of bad plastic surgery. After reportedly paying nearly $1,400 for the mess, the collector has hired another — properly trained — specialist to try and salvage the painting.
The mess is similar to what happened to “Monkey Jesus” in 2012 when a parishioner’s attempt to restore a painting of Christ on the wall of a church in the Spanish town of Borja went viral.
The work is also similar to botched restoration of a 16th-century statue of Saint George and the dragon in northern Spain that resembled a cartoon afterwards.
“I don’t think this guy – or these people – should be referred to as restorers,” Fernando Carrera, a professor at the Galician School for the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage, told The Guardian. “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?” asked Carrera. “Or someone being allowed to sell medicine without a pharmacist’s license? Or someone who’s not an architect being allowed to put up a building?”