Naïve restoration strikes again.
If you thought the “original” restoration of the “Ecce Homo” mural in the church of Borja, Spain, had taught us a lesson about what well-intentioned but unskilled restoration can do to art, think again. Unruly restoration strikes afresh, this time in another Spanish church, the Romanesque church of San Miguel de Estella, in Northern Spain, where a 16th-century wooden carving of St. George battling with the dragon was turned into what looks like a brightly colored cartoon character.
As The Independent reports, the restoration was conducted by a local teacher working for the arts-and-crafts workshop company Karmacolor, without supervision from municipal authorities. According to the the Spanish Conservationists and Restorers Association (ACRE), the restoration job shows “an alarming lack of the required training to undertake this kind of intervention.”
Spanish restoration authorities are now considering what action to take, including a possible “de-restoration,” given that the carving was actually in good condition before the episode and most likely needed only a good polish.