Parishioner Carries Out 'Worst Restoration Ever'

Fresco turned into 'crayon sketch of hairy monkey'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2012 11:29 PM CDT
Updated Aug 23, 2012 12:02 AM CDT
Keen-eyed art experts may be able to spot a few differences.   (Centro de Estudios Borjanos)

(Newser) – A well-meaning elderly parishioner in Spain who decided to restore a painting in her local church turned a prized fresco of Jesus into what the BBC's correspondent describes as a "crayon sketch of a very hairy monkey in an ill-fitting tunic." The Elias Garcia Martinez fresco had been in the church since the 19th century, but the woman, who is her 80s, obliterated his delicate brushwork with broad strokes and splatters of paint to create a primitive image.

She contacted a local official when she realized her unauthorized repair job had gotten out of hand. "I think she had good intentions. Next week she will meet with a repairer and explain what kind of materials she used," the official says. "If we can't fix it, we will probably cover the wall with a photo of the painting." The local art preservation center had recently received a donation from Martinez's granddaughter, which they had planned to use to restore the fresco. (Read more Spain stories.)

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