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Botched Art Restoration Palencia Twitter

"Is That Trump?": Twitter Reacts As Another Amateur Spanish Art Restorer Claims a Victim

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Miscellaneous | November 12, 2020 |

By Kayleigh Donaldson | Miscellaneous | November 12, 2020 |

Botched Art Restoration Palencia Twitter

How did we get to this place where botched amateur art restoration is so commonplace that I’m struggling to keep track of it? The job of restoring old pieces of artwork, be they murals or sculptures or photography, is an exceedingly difficult calling. It takes years of training and endless hours of agonizing skill, focus, and the lightest of touches. Your job is to make it seem as though the weeks of work you did never existed. When done right, you’d never know that the art was ever in a state of deterioration. When done wrong… well… remember the Jesus mural?

Or this ‘touch-up’ of a baroque classic?

Or the decision to turn Saint George into Tintin?

Note how all of this keeps happening in Spain. Well, it happened again.

In the city of Palencia, a rather pretty carving of a female figure needed a little work done. Not a total tear-down, just a light touch. Well, the poor woman got a face-lift. By which I mean she had her face removed and replaced by what locals are already saying is a caricature of Donald Trump.

Yikes. Aardman Animation called and they want their work back.

I’m not sure what horrifies me more: the uneven and misshapen eyes, the nose that looks like a thumb, or the teeny gaping maw that looks like an open wound. The potato jawline isn’t great either. As noted by ArtNet, The Professional Association of Restorers and Conservators, bless its heart, took to Twitter to declare that ‘this is NOT a professional restoration.’ Just in case you weren’t sure.

So, how did this happen? Art restoration is a small field and it’s also extremely expensive. I would assume that the person who commissioned this job wanted it done quickly, cheaply, and without having to spend months researching the right (and qualified) person for the role. So yeah, you get what you pay for. It is pretty depressing that this keeps happening and that there are no safeguards in place to ensure that centuries worth of priceless and irreplaceable art doesn’t become a free-for-all for any chump with a hammer and paintbrush.

But hey, Twitter had some fun.

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Kayleigh is a features writer for Pajiba. You can follow her on Twitter or listen to her podcast, The Hollywood Read.

Header Image Source: Twitter @aitorloizaga