TOP-13 examples of unsuccessful restoration of historical monuments
TOP-13 examples of unsuccessful restoration of historical monuments

The word “restoration” comes from the Latin “restauratio” which means “restoration”. It will not work just like that to touch up or cover it up, otherwise the cultural monument may be damaged and even destroyed.

One of the textbook examples of incorrect restoration is the restoration of the Parthenon at the beginning of the 20th century. We wanted the best, tried, but the wrong materials, the wrong tools, not very careful work with the wreckage. As a result, some of the objects were destroyed, not restored. Almost a hundred years have passed since then, and … nothing has changed.

Matrera Castle (El castillo de Matrera), IX century.

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The Matrera Castle beautifully, although not very reliably guarded the vastness of the Spanish province of Cadiz from the 9th century until 2013, when heavy rains (and tourists) led to the collapse of the central tower. Local authorities have urgently attended to the repair of the national monument. Three years later, the castle was unrecognizable: beautiful, new! And … in March 2016, a scandal erupted.

This is a new word in restoration, and this word is obscene. Local residents remembered both the authorities and the restorers for them, and then the specialists got down to business, who lost an important object of research. The restorers themselves explained that all the requirements of Spanish law were met. Their result is safe to visit, demonstrates the original tower size, textures and colors of the original materials, and clearly separates the surviving elements from the remake. The architect even received a professional award for this work.

And in 2002, the builders managed to demolish the house of Isidore of Madrid, the patron saint of the Spanish capital, which had stood there for about nine hundred years. It seems that these Spaniards have a grandfather working in an old castle factory. They have these old castles well, just heaps. So they demolish anything.

Fresco Ecce Homo ("Behold the Man"), 1910

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And again we will talk about Spain. One of the few attractions of the small town of Borja was the Ecce Homo ("Behold the Man") fresco by Elias García Martinez, depicting Jesus Christ in a crown of thorns.

In 2010, 83-year-old parishioner Cecilia Jimenez, with the consent of the prior, took up the restoration of the fresco, which, although it was the same age as the "artist" and (also?) Began to crumble, but still looked better. It had to be fixed.

The result became public in 2012 and exceeded all expectations. Wits began to call the fresco "Fluffy Jesus" or Ecce Mono ("Behold the monkey"). The old woman attributed her creative vision to a lack of experience and disgusting lighting in the church. The rector of the church, frowning, was silent.

There is a silver lining. The fresco in its original state was interesting only to art critics, but "Fluffy Jesus" attracted literally crowds of tourists to the town, providing local residents and Cecilia herself with work, the church with income from visits, and those who like laughing - with a huge number of cartoons and photojams.

Burial mask of Tutankhamun, 1323 BC

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It was not enough for the Egyptians to have the broken nose of the Sphinx. In the summer of 2014, in the process of transferring exhibits in the Cairo Museum, the beard somehow fell off from the priceless burial mask of Tutankhamun. To solve the problem, one of the workers came up with the idea to glue everything back, but more reliably. And what could be more reliable than epoxy resin?

Carefully, of course, it did not work out, and the unfortunate restorer scraped off the drops of glue with a scalpel out of school habit, leaving beautiful and noticeable scratches on the pressed gold. By the way, before this procedure, the beard was separated from the mask and attached to a special sleeve, which could be restored without much difficulty.

Alas, epoxy can be separated only with a layer of metal, and historians are not ready to go for this yet. However, it is possible that at the next transfer the mask will be dropped again and the beard will break off again … The main thing is not to repair it yourself.

True, there was some good news.Scientists carefully examined the mask for other damage and found that it was most likely originally intended for Nefertiti. If, of course, this inscription with a felt-tip pen is original …

Fortress Ocakli Ada Kalesi, 1st-2nd centuries

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Turkish resorts do not tolerate decay, therefore, in 2010, the authorities of the Istanbul suburb of Sile decided to restore a two-thousand-year-old Byzantine fortress, picturesquely collapsed on a coastal island.

In August 2015, the restoration led to a trial in the Turkish parliament and investigation, and foreign tourists, as if by agreement, began to compare the fortress with SpongeBob SquarePants. Why not? Many resort towns can be called Bikini Bottom. Schiele is now at the forefront of the renaming.

The municipal workers themselves indignantly explained to reporters that it was a shame to look at the crumbling fortress, but now it is like new … I mean, really new.

Frescoes in the Yongzhi temple complex, 18th-19th centuries

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The Chaoyang District municipal government simply did not have enough money to provide professional restorers for the Yongzhi temple complex. Or maybe they chose the restorers on the basis of "whose kung fu is better." And I was too lazy to follow the progress of the work. What is there to follow? It's just a room with frescoes, not Comrade Mao's house-museum.

As a result, in 2013, instead of the restored frescoes of the Qing Dynasty era, visitors to the temple saw bright but slovenly drawn scenes from Buddhist legends that have nothing to do with the original drawings.

The guilty ones were dismissed, but after this "restoration" the restoration of the old frescoes, if at all possible, costs significantly more than the amount saved. By the way, this is a rare case when the head of a regional party cell was reprimanded for damaging religious objects.

Fresco "The Tree of Fertility" (l'Albero della Fecondità), 1265

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In 2011, several restorers were accused of censoring a seven-hundred-year-old Roman mural, The Tree of Fertility, by removing several hanging phalluses from the painting. Journalists called the tree castrated.

The restorers themselves did not deny the disappearance of the organs, saying that if something dissolved during the cleaning process, it was absolutely by accident, since the fresco was in a very poor condition. And in general, who cares how much of what was hanging there initially? And after all, someone was not too lazy, considered that exactly 25 were hanging before the restoration. Yes, the head of the local cell of the Communist Party was not injured.

Painting by Leonardo da Vinci "Madonna and Child with St. Anne", 1508-1510.

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The Louvre leadership was repeatedly offered to clean da Vinci's painting, but until 2011 it was unapproachable. However, the water wears away the stone, and the solvent, meanwhile, brightens the picture. When the result became visible, British restorers began to claim that they had discovered da Vinci's true artistic intention, and the Louvre authorities opened a vial of valerian. It was officially announced that the result was satisfactory, but two members of the advisory committee overseeing the work on the painting resigned in protest. Experts still argue about the acceptability of such a restoration.

"House of the Sad Angel", St. Petersburg, 1906

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Panteleimon Badayev's apartment building is known both to Petersburgers and tourists. Moreover, at the World Exhibition in Paris, he was awarded a gold medal. Here, not every person gets a medal, and the house is so rare in general. Unfortunately, the medal carrier did not survive the war in all its splendor: he was hit by a shell. After renovation in the 50s, the Art Nouveau house became a communal apartment, which also had a negative effect on its condition.

In 2013, the house was decided to be restored. Unexpectedly, historians noticed that one of the parts of the bas-relief, depicting the nymph of music, changed in face.

The organizers of the repair argued that no restoration of the bas-relief was carried out and in this form it came to them initially, but they also did not undertake to restore it. They do not have talent.The authors of the “masterpiece”, who worked on the appearance of the house somewhere between 2008 and 2013, were never found, and the locals called him “the steppe maiden”. The steppe virgins, in turn, call the changed nymph "a native Petersburg woman".

Kuznetsov Trading House, Moscow, 1898

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In August 2015, Moscow was preparing for the city's birthday, and Myasnitskaya Street received a very strange present.

The face of the god Mercury on the bas-relief of the Kuznetsov Trading House has been amazingly transformed. The majority decided that the legendary restorer of the Badayev house had come to Moscow on tour, although, perhaps, the god of trade was skewed by the prices they saw for repairs in Moscow. Whether it is true or not, the damage was done, and the authorities promised to return it as it was. Well, or at least find a prettier model.

Admiralty building, St. Petersburg, 1823

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In 2011, when examining the tower of the main building of the Admiralty, restorers discovered the most interesting creations that could be attributed to any genre, except classicism. Of 28 antique figures, only one remained in close to its original form, and the rest …

Moreover, it is difficult to understand who is the author of this version of the sculptures, since they stand high, the inhabitants of the Admiralty themselves do not care about them, and there was no special control over the restorations. We are not Italy to count penises. Although there were exactly of them …

Izborsk fortress, beginning of the XIV century

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Izborsk fortress saw Livonians, Poles, and the Investigative Committee. During the restoration, which, according to the documents, cost 300 million rubles, according to local historians, the cultural layer with unique artifacts was destroyed, the masonry was carried out incorrectly, and part of the newly rebuilt wall soon collapsed. There were no Israeli tourists with Jericho pipes in their hands, so they still decided that the problem was in the quality of the work.

The Investigative Committee was hardly interested in the problems of historians and archaeologists, it was just that there were big doubts about the real costs. True, according to the rules of public procurement, the same company should correct mistakes. Perhaps it is worth going to Izborsk, looking at the city, until it was repaired to complete destruction.

Bas-relief in the metro at the Novokuznetskaya station, Moscow, 1943

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In early May 2015, bas-reliefs dedicated to Soviet soldiers were thickly smeared with beige paint just before the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the victory over the Nazis.

Now they look like cheap plastic toy soldiers, not the creations of famous sculptors. It seems that they promised to return it as it was, but for a year now the bas-reliefs are pleasing with their clumsy plastic appearance. Maybe those who repair the subway haven't played enough of soldiers in childhood?

Derbent fortress Naryn-Kala, VIII century

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On the occasion of the anniversary of one of the oldest cities in Russia, the authorities decided to make a gift and renovate the Naryn-Kala fortress. Everything, as usual, was done in a hurry and expensive. And if for restoration work the price is a matter under discussion, then as for the timing and quality - here we need experts who are close to the original materials, preparation of solutions, study of foundations, and so on. There are no miracles here.

But a miracle happened, at least according to the documents. The repaired fortress greeted the inhabitants of Derbent with walls in a yellow cage. The solution used to cover the gaps between the stones turned yellow or was yellow. And the color of the bricks was very different from the original masonry … However, stop. Bricks? In a slab wall? And new gates have appeared in the millennial walls …

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