I feel bad laughing at this, for various reasons, but I
can’t help it. Every time I look at the restored painting (see below) it cracks me up.
This story, which is nicely detailed in this video, seems like a spoof or parody, but
it’s not. It’s real.
A prized 100-year-old fresco of Jesus Christ that hangs in a
church near Zaragoza, Spain (between Madrid and Barcelona), has been perhaps
permanently ruined by a botched restoration attempt. A lady who belongs to the
church had taken it upon herself to try to touch up the old painting, which has
badly worn down over the decades. The result is a smudged image that looks like
a creepy monkey.
I do feel bad for the lady. In the video linked above, she is clearly trying
to explain and defend herself to the accusatory reporter, but she must be humiliated.
Especially now that the story has gone around the world and people like me are laughing about it.
It does bring up the topic of restored paintings in general.
It’s a weird thing, restoration. To me, it kind of makes it feel like a great
work of art isn’t actually still the real original, like it loses some of its
authenticity. But that could just be because I don’t have a really intimate
knowledge of the restoration process itself.
In any event, I hope someday this woman can look back on
this whole experience and laugh. Like I am.