Churchgoers have been left shocked by a botched attempt at art restoration which turned an angelic cherub into a rosy-cheeked Elvis Presley.
The child-like painting of a face in a church in the town of Reinosa, in northern Spain’s Cantabria region is being compared to famous botched restoration of the ‘Ecce Homo’ of Zaragoza.
An unknown artist is believed to have stepped in after noticing that one of the eight angels whose busts adorn the top of the altar of the church was looking slightly the worse for wear.
But the attempt to fill the gap by removing the head and painting a cherubic face in its place left church goers shocked when they finally spotted the artist’s handiwork.
The child-like painting they created of a rosy-cheeked man’s face with an Elvis-style black quiff hairstyle looks decidedly out of place.
Photographs of the ‘cherub’ are now spreading like wildfire on social media where it is being compared to one of the most famous botched art jobs of all time.
In 2012, Cecilia Gimenez, 81, tried to restore a fresco of Christ in the Santuario de la Misericordia church in the town of Borja in northern Spain’s Zaragoza province.
But her well-intentioned efforts ruined the fresco, transforming artist Elias Garcia Martinez’s Ecce Homo into a chimpanzee-like image widely dubbed ‘monkey Christ’.
The Reinosa restoration is believed to have been carried out years ago but was barely noticed as the angels’ faces are located high up on the church’s main altar.
But after one churchgoer took photographs, which later appeared on social media, it is being referred to as the ‘ecce homo’ of Reinosa, after Ms Gimenez’s gaffe.
An investigation however has so far revealed it is unlikely that the culprit will ever be found, as the change appears to have been made many years ago. It is believed to have been already there when the altarpiece was cleaned by the Itinerant Restoration Workshop of the Cooperative Society in 1987 and again in 2011.
Angel Campuzano, one of the people in charge at the time, said the face “was already there when we undertook the cleaning of the altarpiece.
“Both restorations were limited to cleaning the altarpiece and no volume was returned, nor was anything that already existed touched,” he said.
He said he wanted to make it clear that he and his team had nothing to do with what happened, saying: “I want it to be clear that this element was already there when the two interventions to the altarpiece were made.”
The church of San Sebastián de Reinosa is the greatest example of Baroque architecture in the Campoo region and one of the best in the Cantabria province.