Why Does Spain Keep Destroying Its Beautiful Art?

Courtesy of Antonio Guzmán Capel

Spain is in the news again for all the wrong reasons, and conservationists around the globe are shaking their fists. A photo has surfaced of what could be the country’s sloppiest restoration to date: the carving of a once-delicate shepherdess’s face now mangled beyond repair, with lopsided sockets for eyes, an outsize zit for a nose, and a toothless dent for a mouth. Locals in Palencia, north of Madrid, have dubbed her “Potato Head.”

This is déjà vu for Spaniards. Earlier this year, the world gasped when a botched refurbishment of Murillo’s Immaculate Conception of Los Venerables came to light bearing no resemblance to the Baroque original. In 2018, a 16th-century statue of St. George was retouched so badly—evidently by a school teacher in Navarra—that it resembled a toy soldier. And it’s hard to unsee Spain’s most infamous bungle, “Ecce Mono” aka “Monkey Christ,” a 90-year-old fresco of Jesus rendered into a menacing primate-esque blob. The list goes on and on.

The litany of screwups begs the question: Why does this keep happening in Spain, and what is to blame?

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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