In the summer of 2012 the small town of Borja monopolized all media interest due to the attempt to restore a mural painting of Ecce Homo who was inside the Sanctuary of Mercy.
Due to the poor condition of the painting, Cecilia Giménez, 81 years old and fond of this art, wanted to retouch it, repainting on top of the mural, without having the technical knowledge for a restoration.
The work that we all have in mind became the protagonist of all the internet memes and jokes, becoming the Ecce monkey, and even got to take world-wide fame. Six years later, painting continues to generate interest and almost 200,000 visitors have come to see the work of Cecilia.
The carvings of the hermitage of Rañadoiro
But the case of Borja, is not the only one that has generated interest. Recently, something similar has happened in Asturias, in Rañadoiro. A neighbor of the town decided, "with the permission of the parish priest", arrange three figures of the hermitage of the place. Without study or anything, the result will give much to talk about: it is about three pieces of the XV and XVI centuries that have been "restored" in a more than peculiar way. "I'm not a professional, just the figures were horrible and I wanted to paint them to make them better", explains this woman, one of the 16 neighbors of Rañadoiro.
The pulpit of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Baeza
The Cathedral of the Nativity of Our Lady of Baeza, in the province of Jaén, was declared a Site of Cultural Interest in 1931 and is part of the monumental complex of the city. However, inside it also houses another Ecce Homo, as El País revealed. Is about two figures painted in the sixteenth century and present in the pulpit of the temple. The biblical characters of Samson and another woman they look like two puppets today.
– Double D Network (@DobleDNetwork) November 16, 2018
According to Teresa López Obregón's statements to the newspaper " the pulpit has been like this for many years ". The restorer of works of art tells that the cathedral suffered a lot during the civil war and "someone with good will tried to restore the pulpit" without any technique.
The size of San Miguel Arcángel, in Peñaranda
The Salamanca town of Peñaranda de Bracamonte also has its own restaurateur neighbor. The 'victim' of the neighbor is the town's patron, San Miguel Arcángel, a 17th century carving that is in the hermitage of the Humilladero. The ecce homo of Peñaranda de Bracamonte. Atlas Agency
The carving of Saint George in Estella
The church of San Miguel de Estella, in Navarra, had a polychrome carving of St. George of the sixteenth century, which shows the saint on horseback, in armor, killing the dragon. After the "restoration" the critics soon made themselves heard: "He's been like a lead soldier", was heard among the neighbors, dissatisfied with the work.
For its part, the Association of Conservators-Restorers of Spain (ACRE) criticized that untrained personnel would have destroyed "a jewel of the Navarrese heritage".
– MJ Vela (@ RealVela4Life) June 26, 2018
The angel of the parish of Reinosa
Another case that has generated interest is that of the angel of the Parish of Reinosa in Cantabria. The painting is in one of the highest areas of the main altarpiece of the parish of San Sebastián. It is a face with black hair, a big smile and blushes on the cheeks. But far from reminding us of an angel, the restored drawing evokes a television drawing closer to Heidi.
Again another bad restoration, they call it the new "Ecce homo". The supposed rescue of a cherub from the parish of San Sebastian in Reinosa, Spain exploits professional restorers. pic.twitter.com/V83qHx3dmb
– Bernardo Gaitán (@bernardo_gaitan) July 26, 2018
Most of the works that have been "restored" with catastrophic results respond to the good will of fans, people linked to the parish or temples where the paintings or sculptures belong, which did not have much fortune in their purpose. However, every time a new case arises Controversy breaks out between restaurateurs and conservatives that demand measures to end the intrusiveness in his profession.