For 500 years, the painted wooden effigy of St George that adorns a chapel in the Spanish town of Estella has been locked in a silent struggle against his old foe, the dragon.
Today, however, the saint faces a different battle thanks to a feat of restoration that has prompted comparisons with the infamous “Ecce Homo Monkey Christ” and exasperated the mayor.
An attempt to freshen up the 16th-century polychrome statue has left St George with a rosy pink face and a bold, red-and-grey suit of armour. The restoration is believed to have been carried out by a handicrafts teacher at the request of the parish authorities of the Church of St Michael.
The mayor of Estella, which lies south-west of Pamplona in the Navarre region, is demanding to know why the council was not consulted before the work went ahead.
Koldo Leoz told the Guardian: “The parish decided on its own to take action to restore the statue and gave the job to a local handicrafts teacher. The council wasn’t told and neither was the regional government of Navarre.” Read more