botched statue restoration

Antonio Capel/Facebook

This art restoration fail turned a sculpture of a delicate lady into a ‘potato head’

It’s also drawing comparisons to Donald Trump.


Siobhan Ball

Internet Culture

Hot on the footsteps of what are now known as “Potato Jesus” and “Mary of the Melted Face,” yet another piece of Spanish art has been subjected to a disastrous restoration attempt.

The victim in this case dates back to the early 20th century and adorns a bank in Palencia. What was once a smiling woman with delicate features is now a distorted, cartoonish depiction of a face. The sculpture has since been dubbed “The Potato Head of Palencia.”

'Pictures are a little blurry, anyway you can appreciate the pice perfectly. This head fell from one of Palencia's iconic buildings. Palencia cradle of artists. For someone has made this masterpiece, the new ′ ′ Christ ′ ′ of Borja, this is because of being made a Christ, and he sure has charged for it. But more crime has the person who has commissioned it and has become so wide. Looks like a cartoon character. · · ' A close up of the damaged face and then before and after pictures
Antonio Capel/Facebook

And Twitter users would like to know the reason why restorations keep getting botched in Spain, specifically. The reason is actually fairly simple.

Unlike most Western countries, there are no government regulations in Spain that limit who is allowed to carry out restoration work, even on art and antiquities as important as this one.

Spain, a country of botched art restoration, and I am OBSESSED.
'We need to stop letting Spain touch art. A country that’s given us so many amazing artists last century has botched so much art this century' before and after pictures of the statue

While art historians and formally trained restoration workers have been pushing for tighter regulations regarding who can carry out art restorations for years, the Spanish government has yet to take any action.

This means more art disasters are likely to occur in the future. ACRE, the professional body representing properly trained conservators and restorationists, tweeted that “THIS #NoEsRestauración . It is a NOT professional intervention.”

ESTO #NoEsRestauración. Es una intervención NO profesional. Thumbs down Polémica en Palencia por una restauración que deja hecho un «cristo» el relieve de una fachada Translated from Spanish by THIS #NoEsRestauración . It is a NOT professional intervention. Thumbs down Controversy in Palencia for a restoration that leaves the relief of a facade made a 'Christ'

The sculpture is not only drawing “potato head” comparisons. Some spectators are also likening it to President Donald Trump.

'Yes, it has happened again. #Palencia already has its own #eccehomo I suspect that the restaurateur was also pro #Trump Man facepalmingand has been carried away by the emotion of these days in the #EleccionesEEUU' before and after pictures of the statue with a picture of Trump

And, of course, there are memes highlighting all the “botched” restorations in Spain.

'I am screaming, the memes... they're already so spicy!' the boyfriend looking at another woman meme with the Ecce Homo head on the man, the melted Mary face on the girlfriend and this newest statue on the other woman
'choose your fighter' before and after pictures of the statue, the melted Mary, Playmobile St. George and Ecce Homo
'Spain's history of botched art is actually astounding rahh' image of the purple figure from Among Us stabbing the white one in the back, the white one is labelled Spain and the purple unqualified artists

The 2020 “how it started vs how it’s going” meme format is particularly popular among users wanting to showcase the Palencia statue’s before and after images.

'Me in January vs. me now ' a photograph of the original, realistic sculpture next to the restored version with it's blobby abstract features
'I made a meme for the latest botched art restoration in Spain:' before and after photos labelled how it started and how it's going

The person who “restored” the decades-old statue in Palencia has yet to be revealed.

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