Conservation & Preservation

Spain tells vandal to Kiss off after Santiago de Compostela statue defaced

Authorities vow to find rock fan who damaged Medieval statue

The statue in Santiago de Compostela was newly restored Photo: © Lavandeira jr/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

Spanish authorities have vowed to apply the law “with the greatest possible force” following the defacing of a Medieval statue from the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, according to the newspaper El Pais. In early August, a vandal scribbled the face of a musician from the US rock band Kiss on a statue that had been unveiled only a week earlier after a five-year restoration. They also wrote the band’s name on it. Román Rodríguez, the regional culture minister, described the crime as “patrimonial barbarism” and said all means would be used to find the culprit. The director of the cathedral foundation, Daniel Lorenzo, said that the graffiti would be removed with lasers. Meanwhile, in Navarre, conservators are assessing damage to a 16th-century statue of St George from the church of San Miguel de Estella, following a botched restoration in June that left it “looking like a Disney cartoon”. A conservation report states that some elements of the treatment are irreversible.

Appeared in The Art Newspaper, 304 September 2018