News outlets across the globe have shared the story of another failed restoration in Spain. The work was a copy of Murillo’s The Immaculate Conception of El Escorial, and the original remains unscathed at the Prado. It is important to note that the viral image above is slightly misleading, as it compares the two ‘restored’ versions (right) to Murillo’s original painting (left), rather than to the copy before the restoration effort.
The copied painting belongs to a private art collector in Valencia, who had hired a furniture restorer to clean the work. The collector has now asked another specialist to attempt to fix the botched restoration.
The Association of Conservators and Restorers in Spain (ACRE) has released a statement, stating that they ‘regret once again the loss of a cultural asset and, under these circumstances, we request not to take this instance as a social media source of fun, as happened already formerly. Moreover, we all must be alarmed to think that our heritage is disappearing because of these disastrous actions’. They also emphasize that ‘no professional technician with an official academic training would perform such an attempt against cultural heritage’. They warn against the lack of regulations for art conservation in Spain, which ‘allows unskilled people intervening on [art], facing, at best, mere administrative penalties’.
Less than a month remains to go on a one-hour guided tour of Antoni Gaudí’s Casa Battló in Barcelona, covering its history and the recent renovation of architectural features and interior fittings, such as lighting, windows and hangings. The visit also offers the opportunity to walk along the ‘Pasarela’ at 30 metres above ground level.
Click here for more information on the restoration and visit.
The first home designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí has recently opened to the public. Built between 1883 and 1885 as a summer house for the Vicens family, it is a masterpiece of riotous colour in an eclectic neo-moorish style. After over a century of transformations at the hands of various different owners, the World Heritage Site has been returned to its original disposition, while an addition constructed in 1925 has been transformed into a museum. Located in the Gràcia district and surrounded by a verdant garden, the house is open everyday, from 10 am to 8 pm.