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Ecce Homo by the 19th century painter Elías García Martínez on the walls of the church of Santuario de Misericordia in the village of Borja, near Zaragoza, Spain. From left to right. The painting as it was in 2010, the painting in July of this year showing loss of pigment, and the painting as it appears now
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Sometimes it’s best to leave damaged or decaying artefacts alone until a sure way of conserving them can be found. Using the wrong conservation materials, or the services of unqualified people, can have disastrous results – as the above photographs vividly show. Writing in The Telegraph on 22 August Amy Willis reports that –

Three separate photographs of “Ecce Homo” by painter Elias Garcia Martinez show extensive damage caused by an elderly woman who decided the masterpiece needed a little refurbishment. But in a time of austerity, rather than calling in a professional to complete the job, the unnamed woman attempted to restore the mural herself – at a devastating cost. The result was a botched repair where the intricate brush strokes of Martinez were replaced with a haphazard splattering of the octogenarian’s paint. Years of carefully calculated depth of expression simply washed out by copious amounts of red and brown.

More and a video here.



August 2012
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