The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Art Restoration

My first visit to the SistineChapel was in the year 2000, several years after the remarkable restoration of Michelangelo's work had been completed. I can recall the moment when Dear Diane and I first stepped through the doorway and tried to take in the overwhelming beauty of that work. It was truly breathtaking. I remember thinking that what we saw, all 5,000 square feet of it, was pretty much was Pope Julius II saw when the frescoes were finally finished after four years of work by the master. The restoration, accomplished by some of the best experts in the field, actually required 12 years to complete, which says much about the poor condition of the frescoes after nearly 500 years.

Unfortunately, all restorations are not handled quite so professionally. The other day I came across an article describing the "unofficial" restoration of a fresco in the church of Santuario de la Misericordia in Borja, Spain. The fresco, "Ecce Homo" (Behold the Man), which depicts Jesus crowned with thorns, had suffered damage over the years due largely to flaking as a result of moisture in the church walls. It seems a local parishioner, an elderly woman, decided to undertake its restoration with less than desirable results. The photos below show the fresco as it originally looked, in it's damaged state, and after its "restoration". One hopes it can be repaired.

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