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An Amateur Artist "Restored" A 500-Year-Old Religious Statue And Oh, Jesus, No

"These images really were in need of painting."

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It's no stretch to say Spain has a bit of a bad reputation when it comes to restoring works of art. There is, of course, the 2012 "restoration" of Ecce Homo, aka Beast Jesus...

Elías García Martínez / Public Domain / Via, Cesar Manso / AFP / Getty Images well as this amateur restoration of a 16th-century wooden carving of St. George from June of this year.

ACRE Restorers Association

Well, add to that list what recently happened to this 15th-century wooden sculpture of Mary, St. Anne, and baby Jesus, which adorn a chapel in El Rañadoiro, Asturias.

Dsf / AFP / Getty Images

Having decided it looked "horrible," María Luisa Menéndez, a local tobacco shop owner, took it upon herself to give the statue a neon paint job. Here's what it looks like now:

Dsf / AFP / Getty Images

“I’m not a professional painter, but I’ve always enjoyed it, and these images really were in need of painting,” she told El Comercio. “So I painted them the best I could, with the colors that seemed right, and the neighbors like it.”

Dsf / AFP / Getty Images

To recap, Jesus then:

Dsf / AFP / Getty Images

Jesus now:

Dsf / AFP / Getty Images


Dsf / AFP / Getty Images

For its part, ACRE, the Spanish art conservation association, called Menéndez's work a "plunder."

De nuevo gritamos #SOSPatrimonio. ¿A nadie le importa este expolio continuado en nuestro país? ¿Qué tipo de sociedad permite pasiva que destruyan ante sus ojos el legado de sus antepasados?

According to the New York Times, Menéndez may also face legal consequences.

In conclusion:

Dsf / AFP / Getty Images
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