‘A thing of beauty is a joy forever. Its loveliness increases.’

Keats said that, and as reassuring as it is, the comfort it provides is not always true. Sometimes, a thing of beauty is turned into a pile of shit, thanks to the bumbling methods of an inexperienced fool. 

A botched restoration of a painting called the Immaculate Conception by Baroque artist Bartolomé Esteban Murillo has left a private art collector in shock. It looks horrendous.


According to the BBC, the Valencia-based collector paid €1,200, or Rs 1.2 lakh for it to be cleaned by a furniture restorer. After 2 terrible attempts, it was left unrecognisable. 

The incident has been an unfortunate reminder of other times restoration jobs were butchered, leading to some seriously miffed art historians.

Spain’s Professional Association of Restorers and Conservators (Acre) has asked for legal protection of artwork from unprofessional restoration, and called the recent incident an act of ‘vandalism’.