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/ Source: TODAY
By Randee Dawn

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.

Botched art restoration before
St. George of Estella before ...Courtesy ACRE Restorers Association

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.

According to the Telegraph, the workshop (which The New York Times notes usually dealt in arts and crafts and basic furniture repairs) then gave the job to the town's art teacher and ... voilà!

Botched art restoration after
St. George of Estella after.Courtesy ACRE Restorers Association

Er, yeah.

Botched art restoration
The two faces of St. George/San Jorge.Courtesy ACRE Restorers Association

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.

20th century Ecce Homo-style fresco of Christ , left and the 'restored' version, at right.
"Ecce Homo" fresco before, and after being "restored."AP

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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