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Restoration of classic statues and paintings is a painstaking job that requires patience and fine expertise.
Or you could just hire a local art teacher.
That's what happened in Spain recently, when a 16th century wooden carving of St. George on horseback battling the legendary dragon appeared to need a little touch up. The local parish authorities of the Church of St. Michael in Estella, Spain, asked a local workshop to make over the statue.
The carving is much brighter now, wearing colors that call to mind cartoons like "Toy Story" and other familiar faces:
Koldo Leoz, mayor of Estella, said the restoration was not authorized. "I don't think it was done with malice, but they have obviously not acted responsibly with the treasure they had in their possession," he told the Times.
It didn't take long for people to feel like this was déjà vu all over again; in 2012 another well-intentioned amateur took on the restoration of a century-old fresco called "Ecce Homo (Behold the Man)," which had been painted inside a church near Zaragoza, Spain, by artist Elias Garcia Martinez.
And you probably remember how that turned out.
These two well-known examples are apparently not unique. An article in El Español recently featured multiple instances of lousy restorations of classic pieces throughout Spain, noting, "The curse of enthusiasm is as destructive as negligence."
As for St. George, Mayor Leoz said they are hoping the damage can be undone. "It's possible the detail of the armor and original colors have been lost forever."
Even if they are, there may be something Estella can gain from all this: The hometown of the "Ecce Homo" disaster became a tourist attraction, and the restoration's notoriety has given the area an economic boost.
Quite the a silver (painted) lining.
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