St. George is ready for his closeup…or is he?

For centuries, a small catholic chapel in Estella Spain has featured a wooden statue of Saint George, mounted on horseback and perpetually about to lay some smackdown on his eternal enemy, the dragon. However, recent efforts by a local arts-and-crafts teacher and parish authorities have left old George looking less heroic and more like a cartoon rodeo rider really enjoying his day on the carousel.

St Geo horseback

Photograph courtesy of Twitter user Xavi Escaned

The chapel, built in the late twelfth century has hosted St. George of the Merry-Go-Round  (ed. note:  No. Not his name) since the sixteenth century, making the value of the art hard to quantify. At least it USED to be hard to quantify. Now that he’s had his…what we might charitably call a facelift…it might be easier to put a dollar value on St. George the Bewildered (ed. note: Still not his name. Cut it out), since centuries-old original colors and paints may have been lost in the restoration.

St Geo before and after

Saint Have I Left the Kettle On?

Immediate comparisons are being drawn between the statue of St. George, the patron saint of England (ed. note: Stop it. Oh, wait. That one is accurate. Carry on.) and another Spanish victim of misguided art restoration, the painting Ecce Homo in Borja. Similar to what happened to our boy Georgie, Ecce Homo was defaced by a well-meaning, but unauthorized touch-up, leading to the painting to be redubbed “Monkey Christ”:

Monkey JC

Photograph: Centro de estudios Borjanos/AP

Considering that the woman who gave Jesus his simian facelift eventually asked to strike a deal with the local church to get a share of the royalties associated with the revised painting, it’s entirely possible that the custodians of St George the Colorful, are going to be looking at his value an entirely new way.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s