After a valuable copy of Murillo's Immaculate Conception joined the list of paintings left disfigured after having undergone restoration works, experts in Spain are calling for the laws surrounding restoration to be tightened.
This botched job not only gives rise to questions of liability and whether regulation should be put in place to afford owners (and their works) greater protection, but it may also lead to wider discussion about the impact of restoration on a work's identity and authenticity. Restoration is vital to protecting art and enables a work's lifespan to transcend the generation of its creator, but where is the line between preservation and replication?
A private art collector in Valencia was reportedly charged €1,200 by a furniture restorer to have the picture of the Immaculate Conception cleaned. However, the job did not go as planned and the face of the Virgin Mary was left unrecognisable despite two attempts to restore it to its original state.