Spanish Sculpture Restoration Draws Amused Onlookers

Credit: Unsplash

Spanish artists can’t catch a break, it seems.

For those of you who don’t keep a catalog of memes gone by, here’s a refresher: back in 2012, 81-year old Cecilia Gimenez decided to attempt to restore a century-old fresco painting of Jesus Christ that was hanging on the wall of her local church in the city of Borja. After she was done with it, the painting became an image of a gaping-mouthed monkey man, drawing significant ire from the global art community and numerous jokes from the internet (though also a lot of tourism to the city, in a bright spot). Theoretically, such an incident would be a lesson not to let unqualified people near works of art. Sadly, this theory has been proven false in a rather silly way.

In the city of Palencia, Spain, a weathered bust of a smiling woman alongside a goat was present at a high point of an upscale bank. Despite being nearly 100 years old, the sculpture wasn’t in especially bad shape, but nevertheless, it seems some mercenary artist decided they could do a better job, changing the woman’s serene face into a bizarre caricature. A different artist, unrelated to the one who performed the restoration, was tipped off about the change by a local florist. When he saw the sculpture, he was appalled, posting pictures to his personal Instagram to share his disbelief.

“I was surprised. How could they have done this?” The artist, Antonio Capel, told The Associated Press. “This must be at least 10-years-old, and we’re only finding out now.”

Spokesmen from Palencia City Hall have been questioned about who authorized the change, when it happened, and the name of the one who performed it, but by their own admission, they’re not entirely sure. Regional authorities will likely be beginning an in-depth investigation into the subject. In the meantime, the Spanish media has begun showing numerous pictures of passerby stopping and staring at the bizarre visage. If nothing else, this strange event may provide some additional tourism for Palencia like it did for Borja.

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