Botched restoration leaves 16th century figure 'looking like Tintin'

Botched restoration leaves 16th century figure 'looking like Tintin'

St George before and after restoration.PHOTO: St George looked like a Disney character after restoration. (Facebook: ArtUs Restauracion Patrimonio)

The wooden carving of St George on horseback, fighting a dragon, is held at St Michael's Church in a small town of Estella in northern Spain.

It started off with good intentions but ended in disaster — a botched restoration attempt has left a 16th century wooden figure of St George "looking like cartoon character Tintin" instead.

St George after restoration.PHOTO: The wooden carving of St George on horseback, fighting a dragon, is held at St Michael's Church. (Facebook: ArtUs Restauracion Patrimonio)

When the church decided to brush up its faded looks, it turned to a local arts and crafts teacher instead of a professional restorer.

BBC reported the parish priest wanted the sculpture to be cleaned, not restored — but it was returned with a flushed face and bright armour, looking much like a Disney character.

Social media users could not resist bringing up another restoration fiasco from 2012 — that of Ecce Homo, a religious mural of Jesus crowned with thorns, which left Christ looking like a monkey.

One user drew parallels between Belgian cartoon character Tintin and the masterpiece post makeover.

Others suggested the botched job looked like how people appear in real life versus on Instagram.

But Estella's mayor Koldo Leoz failed to make light of the "unfortunate" situation, saying the church's initiative was taken without consultation.

"The restoration project should have been presented to the authorities and dependent on their agreement," The Telegraph reported Mr Leoz as saying.

"I don't think it was done with malice, but they obviously have not acted responsibly with the treasure they had in their possession.

"We have experts examining the statue now to see whether the damage can be undone."

The BBC reported Spain's art conservation association (ACRE) said attacks on cultural heritage could not be tolerated.

"It shows a frightening lack of training of the kind required for this sort of job," ACRE said.

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