Statues of the Holy Family / parishioner

In September 2018, a set of 15th-century wooden statues were “ruined” by a well-intentioned but poorly executed restoration while on view at a Catholic chapel in Spain’s Asturias region.

A local civilian and parishioner of the church, Maria Luisa Menendez, was given permission by the chapel’s priest to paint the statues, sculpted by an unnamed artisan. Left to her own devices, she proceeded to use garishly bright hues, giving Jesus a green robe and Mary a pink headscarf, blue hair and pronounced eyeliner.

“I’m not a professional, but I always liked to do it, and the figures really needed to be painted. So I painted them as I could, with the colors that looked good to me, and the neighbors liked it,” Menendez told a local newspaper. But Asturias officials disagreed, as Education Adviser Genaro Alonso described the results as a “vengeance rather than a restoration.”

Christopher Schreck