A spectacularly botched art restoration has seen a painting of the Virgin Mary ruined – in spite of two attempts to put it right.
The bizarre disfiguring of the holy figure came after a restorer tried to clean a painting by famous artist Bartolome Esteban Murillo.
A collector paid more than £1,000 to have the work – a copy of ‘The Immaculate Conception of Los Venerables’ cleaned – but now two laughable attempts to restore it to its former glory have sparked anger.
Horrified art lovers have branded those responsible “bodgers” – and called for prosecutions.
It comes eight years after the infamous ‘Monkey Christ’ howler, when a parishioner in Northern Spain attempted to restore a painting of Jesus, only for the resulting image to look like a primate.
The original painting dates back to the 1660s.
Now conservationalists are calling for tough new laws to prevent historic paintings being destroyed.
After the latest calamity, Professor Fernando Carrera – from the Galician School for the Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage – told The Guardian : “I don’t think this guy – or these people – should be referred to as restorers.
“Let’s be honest: they’re bodgers who botch things up. They destroy things.”
María Borja, vice president of the Valencia chapter of the Professional Association of Conservative Restorers of Spain, told Europa Press that “aberrations” like this are “more frequent than you think”.
She said:“There are a multitude of situations where the works are intervened by people without training… possibly causing irreversible change.”
In 2012 an amateur art restorer in the village of Borja, Spain, attempted to restore a painting of Christ called Ecce Homo – which means Behold the Man.
Her attempt was so bad that it attracted attention worldwide – with viewers split over whether it looked more like a monkey or a potato.
The original artwork had been done by Elías García Martínez in 1930.