Art restoration is a complex and difficult job. It really is a job for experts. Unfortunately, no one told the priest at the church of San Miguel de Estella in Spain.
The church is home to a 16th century wooden carving of St. George on horseback. After 500 years the statue was understandably looking a bit shabby. The priest there ended up giving the restoration job to a local arts and crafts teacher.
Apparently helping kids make macaroni statues qualifies you to restore 500-year-old priceless works of art. Except not really, and now many are comparing the "restored" piece to a Walt Disney cartoon.
Commenting on the restoration, the Spanish Conservationists and Restorers Association said that the work showed "an alarming lack of the required training to undertake this kind of intervention."
The association has reportedly contacted prosecutors to determine whether this constitutes "a crime for damage against objects of cultural and historical value."
Besides comparing the look of the statue now to a cartoon, many are also seeing the similarities to another "restoration" undertaken at a Spanish church in 2012. When the Ecce Homo (Behold the Man) was painted over by Cecilia Gimenez at the Sanctuary of Mercy Church. Gimenez and her botched restoration became a meme for a time. Both Gimenez and the town profited from her blundering ineptitude, though. Thousands of tourists went to see what was dubbed "Monkey Christ" and Gimenez eventually got her own art exhibit.
So maybe there is hope for the new garish-looking St. George.