A private art collector in Valencia, Spain has become the latest victim of botched art restoration, after a painting by Bartolomé Esteban Murillo returned unrecognisable.

The collector paid €1,200 ($2000) to a furniture restorer to renew the faded painting of The Immaculate Conception, reported Europa Press.

Horrified by the result the amateur restorers tried to fix their mistake, only to make it worse.

After two botched attempts to fix it, the once demure, Baroque portrait of Mary appears to be heavily made up with flattened features.


While the owner was distraught the internet has been thrilled by the Meme-worthy Mary.
This latest failed restoration has already drawn comparison to other memorably butchered paintings.

In 2012 Elias Garcia Martinez's depiction of Jesus, Ecce Homo was so badly repainted that it was redubbed "Monkey Christ".

Ecce 'Monkey Christ': Elias Garcia Martinez's painting was butchered by amateurs in 2012. Photo / Supplied
Ecce 'Monkey Christ': Elias Garcia Martinez's painting was butchered by amateurs in 2012. Photo / Supplied

It appears, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. After being defaced by amateurs, Ecce Homo rose from obscurity to become a surprise tourist attraction. Last year, 160000 tourists came to see the "Monkey Christ" in Zaragoza.

Twitter users were quick to point out this might be 'life imitating art', reminding many of a gag from Mr Bean's Ultimate Disaster Movie in which he "restores" the American masterpiece Whistler's Mother.

Although there is no law prohibiting museums and collections from repairing artwork without the necessary skills there has been outrage from Spanish experts.
Acre, Spain's association of professional restorers have dubbed this latest incident and act of "vandalism".

"This lack of regulation translates into an absence of protection of our heritage," said a statement from the body.

"In recent years, conservation-restoration professionals have been forced to emigrate or leave their professions due to a lack of opportunities."

They see the painting's horrific new look as a tragedy, but an excellent advert for the need for trained restorers, which they say is a profession at "serious risk of disappearing."