Restoration of Baby Jesus Statue Draws Criticism


Here’s two links about a restoration project on a baby Jesus statue in Canada that didn’t go quite well.


Sadly we had this happen in a nearby parish. Mary’s head was cut off of a large outdoor statue. It was horrible. :frowning:


As an artist, I’m afraid to click on the links.


What a shame! Both the theft of part of the statue and its replacement! :frowning:


The photo shows statue of Mary holding the infant Jesus. The original statue is made of white stone. After the head of Jesus was stolen, a temporary replacement of unfired red clay was placed upon his body. This head looks like a gargoyle version of the cartoon character Maggie Simpson.

The artist who made the replacement head says she intends to sculpt a stone version next year. Although she took a sculpture class in university, and her heart is in the right place, I wonder if maybe she should get some more experience first.

BTW, the replacement head has now been removed since it was dissolving in the rain and damaging the statue as a result. (I presume the red clay was staining the white stone.)




I have that same fear, from that botched painting “restoration” a few years ago.


Yes, I remember that.
And for that one, I clicked the link.


Looks like Bart Simpson was the model. :stuck_out_tongue:


Well that made me look, but I think you have the wrong Simpson, that looks like Lisa.


One of them Simpsons! :smiley:


What is going through these vandals minds? :eek:


I’m going with not vandals… people who bite off more than they are capable of, lack vision, maybe are color blind?


The artist had good intentions, however, someone more experienced should do the restoration in my opinion. The head definitely looked cartoonish.


more a ? of what drugs are coursing through their veins…

We get vandalism of graves here in Ireland.


It’s like the now infamous “restoration” of the Ecce Homo painting in Spain. However, that seems to have had a curiously positive effect, bringing many visitors to the impoverished town who just want to see the painting (having read about it on the internet).

God surely moves in mysterious ways! Both these amateur artists were prompted by faith. :slight_smile:


While I can appreciate that the person was moved by faith, I am just suprised that an artist of any stripe would look at the results and say, “yep that’s good enough for now”. If it had been me and that was the best I could do, I would have just told father that my efforts were not good enough.

Now what I did find interesting is that they say the head has been removed multiple times in the past, but has always been found and restored. I am suprised that they have not used a metal anchor to more fully reattach it in the past.

This is giving me an inkling of an idea though. With many photos taken from multiple angles you can create a virtual 3d object. That object can then be used in a 3d printer or CNC machine to recreate a replica of the object in plastic, plaster, wax, et cetera. So I’m thinking about if you could create a website where vulnerable statues like this can have several pictures uploaded to created and “backup” the statue and then a temporary replacement could be fashioned if something happened to it. The replicas would be in no way close to the quality of a skilled sculptor, but it would atleast be closer than what happened in the articles. I might have to look at it with some of the outdoor statues at my own parish.


The other factor is that you can buy white clay and fire it, so why use red in the first place?


Yes, in a certain sense it reminds one of the scene in The Lord of the Rings when Frodo, Sam and Gollum arrive at the Cross-roads of Ithilian just prior to their ascension of the Stairs of Cirith Ungol. There they find a statue of an ancient King, whose head had been knocked off by orcs and replaced by a rough-hewn stone “rudely painted by savage hands in the likeness of a grinning face with one large red eye [the symbol of Sauron] in the midst of its forehead.”

Here the contrast between both the skill and materials used by the ancient artist and the modern, is as striking as that between Men and Orcs.

If the contemporary volunteer was honestly giving her best, then I sympathize with the pain she must be experiencing due to the volume of criticism generated by her work. However, she has provoked a response in at least one viewer that he would normally associate with great art.

I pray that the funds will be soon forthcoming to restore the statue and to provide a modern day security system to guard it in the near future.


No. Just…no. Good Lord.

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