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Entries in Artwork (3)

Wednesday
Aug222012

Elderly Woman Ruins 19th-Century Fresco in Restoration Attempt

Centro de Estudios Borjanos(BORJA, Spain) -- It's one thing to stage a do-it-yourself renovation on a table, mirror or painting found deep in the weeds of a yard sale.

It's quite another to attempt a repair job on a one-of-a-kind 19th-century fresco by the Spanish painter Elias Garcia Martinez with a few broad brushstrokes.

Such was the lesson learned by an elderly member of the Santuario de Misericodia church in Borja, in northeastern Spain. Her handiwork, or lack thereof, was discovered after the painter's granddaughter donated the work, "Ecce Homo," to the archive of religious paintings housed at the Centro de Estudios Borjano, also in Borja.

When officials from the center went to examine the work at the church a few weeks ago, they found it was not as Martinez had left it, the U.K.'s Telegraph reported.

The last photo taken of the artwork before any damage was done, in 2010, showed Martinez's intricate brush strokes around the face of Jesus. A photo taken in July by center officials for a catalog of regional religious art showed the painting splattered by white marks, possibly the work of the woman trying to remove paint. The final photo, taken this month after Martinez's relative donated the work, showed broad and thick layers of paint now covering important details in the work, such as the crown of thorns on Jesus' head.

While not a good day for art historians, local officials said the restoration attempt by the woman, said to be in her 80s, was not malicious, just misguided.

Juan Maria Ojeda, the city councilor in charge of cultural affairs, told the Spanish newspaper El Pais that the woman turned herself in and admitted causing the damage when she realized it had "gotten out of hand." He added that the woman, who was not identified, attempted to restore the work "with good intentions."

The U.K.'s Independent reported the church and center are now trying to assess the damage to the painting and determine whether a professional can restore Martinez's work. Ojeda added that the woman herself would meet with restorers to explain what kind of materials she used to help them undo the damage.

There was no figure given on the value of the work, said to hold more sentimental than artistic value because Martinez's family is known in the local community.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct132011

Stolen Masterpiece Discovered, Returned to France After 90+ Years

US ICE(WASHINGTON) -- Missing for more than 90 years, the “Fisherman’s Daughter” is finally on her way home to France.

The Jules Breton painting was stolen from the Douai Beaux Art Museum in Northern France by German troops during the First World War and its fate was a mystery that haunted the art world for nearly a century.

Then last year, there was a break in the case. French officials and Interpol were alerted that the painting, valued today at about $150,000, had been imported by an art dealer in New York. The painting was recovered, but the mystery was not yet solved. Officials discovered the painting had been heavily restored, leading them to question the artwork's authenticity.

Art experts, curators and historians from France and the United States were called in to examine the painting and investigate its long and clandestine history. After a close examination of records and documentation, both in the United States and in France, and visits to museums and key witnesses, the story of the painting emerged.

It was indeed the same painting stolen from the Douai museum in 1918 -- the authentic “Fisherman’s Daughter.”

It was discovered that during the German occupation of the northern part of the country. German troops confiscated artwork from the Douai Beaux Art Museum and sent the artwork to Mons, Belgium, and then to Brussels.

In 1919, the Belgian government organized the return of the French collection to France. However, “Fisherman’s Daughter” was not among the works.

No one is certain, but apparently the painting was stolen from the Belgian government prior to the collection being returned to France.

No one knows what happened to the painting after that, except for the fact that it was professionally restored. The painting was apparently in private hands recently, then turned up being imported to an art dealer in New York last year.

Thursday, U.S. officials returned the masterpiece to the French people at a ceremony in Washington attended by the French ambassador, ending the nearly century-long art mystery.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Nov122010

Rare Find Nets Family $69 Million

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(LONDON) -- A once-forgotten porcelain vase has amassed $69 million at auction, the highest price for any Chinese artwork ever sold.

The discovery was made in London by a brother and sister who were cleaning out their parents' house. The pair found the 16-inch porcelain ornament and brought it to a local shop.

It turns out the piece was commissioned by the Chinese imperial family in the 1700s and made its way to England in the 1930s.

The sister was so shocked that she almost passed out during the auction.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio