Thursday, August 23, 2012

Oh No She Didn't! What Happens When Grandma Tries to Restore Art


I recently shared three important takeaways of a book by Lee Sandstead on the art world's dirties secret, but one thing I didn't share about it was some of the fascinating material it includes on the difficult job of art restoration.

This, as Joe Biden might say, can be a big freaking deal--because when somebody who is not an expert tries to restore art bad things can easily happen.

Say, for example, that you're an 80-year-old woman. And suppose, just for example, that you're fond of a prized fresco of Jesus Christ that has been in the Sanctuary of Mercy Church near Zaragosa for more than 100 years.

So there you are: old, with shaky hands, and eyesight that's been better, and you start to think. Perhaps, for example, you think that the Jesus Christ fresco could use some touchin' up and that you are just the person to do it.

I'm not going to stretch this out any further because I'm guessing you get what happened already. An 80-year-old woman actually did try to restore an old fresco of Jesus Christ. And it...well, it didn't turn out so well.

In fact, in a report by BBC, one commentator said, "The once-dignified portrait now resembles a crayon sketch of a very hairy monkey in an ill-fitting tunic." So sad. You can check out the photo for yourself here but be warned: it is not pretty.

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