independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Elderly woman destroys 19th-century Spanish fresco with DIY restoration

An original photograph of the painting taken in 2010, shows only minimal deterioration with Jesus crowned in thorns clearly visible in the portrait

A 19th century Spanish fresco has been ruined after a good Samaritan attempted a DIY restoration of the artwork.

Three separate photographs of “Ecce Homo” by painter Elias Garcia Martinez show extensive damage caused by an elderly woman who decided the masterpiece needed a little refurbishment.



But in a time of austerity, rather than calling in a professional to complete the job, the unnamed woman attempted to restore the mural herself – at a devastating cost.



The result was a botched repair where the intricate brush strokes of Martinez were replaced with a haphazard splattering of the octogenarian's paint. Years of carefully calculated depth of expression simply washed out by copious amounts of red and brown.



The damage was discovered after the 19th century painter's granddaughter made a donation to the Centro de Estudios Borjanos in Borja, Spain, a couple of weeks ago. The Centro holds an archive of regional religious paintings with regularly-updated photographs.



After receiving the donation, employees at the Centro went to check on the mural at the church of Santuario de Misericodia only to find it drastically altered.



An original photograph of the painting taken in 2010, shows only minimal deterioration with Jesus crowned in thorns clearly visible in the portrait. There is slight white speckling across the piece.



Large white patches appear in a second photograph of the painting taken in July this year, possibly scrubbed off as the octogenarian began her project.



A final photograph reveals a portrait transformed beyond recognition.



The amateur restorer said she had undertaken the project "with good intentions" but, as culture councillor Juan Maria de Ojeda said, "she had gotten out of hand".



The restoration work was completed without permission.

By Amy Willis Telegraph.co.uk

Telegraph.co.uk

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