In repaint job, Virgin Mary gets turquoise hair

The work on the statues looks more like a vengeance than a restoration, says a Spanish Minister
St. Anne, the patron saint of the village of Rañadorio in northwestern Spain, has fuchsia lips, black eyeliner and a bright dress. The Virgin Mary has turquoise hair. Baby Jesus resembles a Playmobil figure. The figures, part of a set of 15th-century wooden statues in a chapel in the Asturias region, had recently drawn the attention of a local shopkeeper, who decided they looked “horrible” and needed to be repainted.
“I’m not a professional painter, but I’ve always enjoyed it, and these images really were in need of painting,” the shopkeeper, María Luisa Menéndez, told the newspaper El Comercio , adding that the local clergy had given her permission to proceed. “So I painted them the best I could, with the colours that seemed right, and the neighbours like it.”
Local news outlets did, indeed, quote residents defending the restoration. But that reaction to the handling of religious artefacts was hardly universal. The work on the statues of Rañadorio looks more like “a vengeance than a restoration,” said Genaro Alonso, Regional Minister for Culture and Education, Asturias, according to the newspaper La Voz de Asturias . The Spanish art conservation association known as ACRE tweeted, “Does nobody care about this continued plunder in our country?”
Legal action
It is unclear if the paint Ms. Menéndez applied to the figures in Rañadorio could be removed, and the original polychrome paint recovered. Regional authorities said they would initiate legal action. In 2012, the botched restoration of an “ecce homo” fresco of Jesus in a Roman Catholic church in Borja, in northeastern Spain, was of such poor quality that it was initially treated by local authorities as an act of vandalism. It turned out to be the work of Cecilia Giménez, a woman in her 80s who decided to restore it because she was upset that the representation of Jesus was flaking off as a result of moisture on the church’s walls. In June, the restoration of a 16th-century wooden figure of St. George in a church in Estella drew flak as it resembled a childish model of a cartoon character.NY Times
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