Botched painting restoration turns Virgin Mary into victim of bad plastic surgery


(NEXSTAR) — This was not an immaculate restoration.

A furniture restorer was hired by an anonymous owner to clean up a copy of “The Immaculate Conception of Los Venerables,” a famous work by Baroque artist Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Europa Press reported.

After two attempts, the Virgin Mary looked like a victim of bad plastic surgery. After reportedly paying nearly $1,400 for the mess, the collector has hired another — properly trained — specialist to try and salvage the painting.

The mess is similar to what happened to “Monkey Jesus” in 2012 when a parishioner’s attempt to restore a painting of Christ on the wall of a church in the Spanish town of Borja went viral.

A woman wearing a face mask stands in front of the painting “The immaculate Conception of Los venerables” by Spanish painter Bartolome Murillo at the Prado Museum in Madrid. Murillo painted about two dozen versions of The Immaculate Conception. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images)

The work is also similar to botched restoration of a 16th-century statue of Saint George and the dragon in northern Spain that resembled a cartoon afterwards.

“I don’t think this guy – or these people – should be referred to as restorers,” Fernando Carrera, a professor at the Galician School for the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage, told The Guardian. “Let’s be honest: they’re bodgers who botch things up. They destroy things.”

“Can you imagine just anyone being allowed to operate on other people?” asked Carrera. “Or someone being allowed to sell medicine without a pharmacist’s license? Or someone who’s not an architect being allowed to put up a building?”

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