A Catholic priest in Navarre, northern Spain, has been accused of negligence for allowing a local schoolteacher to restore a wooden carving of St George.
According to this report, Navarre’s mayor, Koldo Leoz, thinks the amateurish restoration of the figure in the church of San Miguel de Estella is a disaster, and some on Twitter are agreeing, saying that St George now looks like Tintin or a Playmobil figure.
The mayor, who has opened into an investigation into the botched restoration, said he did not doubt the goodwill of both the priest and the “person who desecrated this work of art” but:
The negligence of both is very serious and cannot overlap with the excuse of goodwill.
How is it possible that the parish priest of a church is able to decide the fate of a 16th-century statue without communicating his intentions either to the city council or to the local government and ignoring absolutely his legal duty or professional judgment?
The Association of Conservators and Restorers of Spain (ACRE) also responded to the incident, saying:
We cannot tolerate more attacks on our cultural heritage. It shows a frightening lack of training of the kind required for this sort of job.
Mayor Leoz indicated that efforts will be made to recruit an expert to reverse the damage.
Back in 2012 a well-meaning Spanish pensioner, Cecilia Gimenez, set about restoring a fresco of Jesus in a church near Zaragoza – with catastrophic results.