Restoration fails remind us to keep our own mistakes in perspective.

We always like our gacha capsule toys to be weird and wonderful, so when we found this new collection from Japanese company Rainbow, we knew it was right up our alley. Called the Restoration Fail Acrylic BC, the four-piece collection consists of acrylic keyholders containing images of some of the world’s finest works of art…and the botched restoration jobs performed on them.

For instance, you may recall this image going viral around the world back in 2012. Painted on the wall of a Spanish church in 1910, Elias Garcia Martinez’s fresco Ecce Homo shows the figure of Jesus Christ before the crucifixion.

When you turn the keychain over, however, you see the “restoration”. Performed by an elderly local woman without permission but with good intentions, the botched job made headlines around the world when it was discovered. As you can see, the newly painted crown of thorns look more like fur and the void stare gives the subject an animal-like appearance, leading many to call it the “Monkey Christ“.

▼ Restoration fail

Let’s take a look at the next work of art, also from Spain — a statue of St George, which was displayed in the Church of St. Michael in Estella, a town in the Navarre region. The 16th century wooden sculpture had aged over the years, prompting the church priest to seek out restoration work in 2018.

Unfortunately he didn’t hire the professionals, though, as the restoration left St George looking pink-faced and in flashy amour that had people drawing comparisons with Tintin and Woody from Toy Story. 

The next botched restoration involves another artwork from Spain — a copy of the Immaculate Conception of El Escorial by Baroque painter Bartolome Esteban Murillo. The copy, also by Murillo, displays a light and soft touch reminiscent of Vermeer or Rembrandt, and captures the beauty and purity of the young Virgin Mary.

In June this year, the owner, a private collector, hired a furniture restorer to fix the old painting and bring it back to its original condition. However, after it was returned in a smudged, unrecognisable state, the collector complained, leading to another attempt which turned out even worse than the first one.

The final botched restoration in this capsule toy series looks at a 15th century statue from Spain, the Virgin and Child with St Anne. These three statues were originally uncoloured, highlighting the beauty in the grain of the wood.

However, after local residents worked on a restoration in 2018 with permission from the priest, the trio were totally transformed with dazzlingly colourful primary colours.

While these botched restorations are certainly unfortunate, having them on a keychain to look at every day is a reminder to put our own errors and shortcomings in perspective. No matter how bad we think our mistakes might be, at least we didn’t botch up an irreplaceable centuries-old work of art.

The Restoration Fail gacha series went on sale at gacha vending machines around Japan from 14 November for 300 yen (US$2.89) each.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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