The wonky statue, which previously showed a smiling woman, sits atop a bank in Palencia, Spain

By Rachel DeSantis
November 12, 2020 03:19 PM
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The statue before and after
| Credit: Alberto Calleja Agencia ICAL/AP/Shutterstock

Yet another attempted art restoration has gone awry in Spain, and this time, people think the new and certainly not improved work looks a lot like a potato head.

Spanish artist Antonio Guzmán Capel brought the latest restoration fail to light last week when he shared photos of it on Facebook.

“[It] looks like a cartoon character,” Capel wrote of the 1923 statue, which sits atop a bank on a main street in the city of Palencia, The Art Newspaper reported.

As seen in the photos, what was once the carefully crafted, smiling face of a woman now appears to be an unstructured oval with melty, misshapen indents for eyes, a lump for a nose and bizarrely puckered pair of lips.

Many on social media have compared it to the Mr. Potato Head toy, while others — including a police department in Texas — have given it the meme treatment.

“The potato head of palencia can’t hurt me the potato head of palencia can’t hurt me the potato head of palencia can’t hurt me,” a spooked Twitter user jokingly – and gently – reminded himself.

Capel told CNN that he doesn’t know who did the work on the statue, but that his photos have been picked up worldwide, and crowds have begun flocking to see the ugly mug with their own eyes.

The Spanish Professional Association of Restorers and Conservators wrote on Twitter that the work was not done by a professional, and should not be considered a restoration.

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This is not the first time Spanish art has made headlines for being helplessly botched.

In 2012, amateur artist Cecilia Giménez famously tried to restore a fresco of Jesus in a Spanish church, but instead turned it into a much-ridiculed potato-like face that earned the nicknamed “Monkey Christ,” according to the BBC.

Then in June, a famous painting by baroque artist Bartolomé Esteban Murillo was ruined after an attempted restoration botched the face of the Virgin Mary, the Guardian reported.