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.”
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.
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.”
The sculpture is not only drawing “potato head” comparisons. Some spectators are also likening it to President Donald Trump.
And, of course, there are memes highlighting all the “botched” restorations in Spain.
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.
The person who “restored” the decades-old statue in Palencia has yet to be revealed.