St. George may be spinning in his tomb right now, after a well-intentioned priest and a school teacher attempted a restoration of a priceless wooden sculpture of the saint. The statue of St. George on his horse, just after vanquishing the mythical dragon has been standing since the 16th century in the Romanesque church of San Miguel de Estella in the town of Estella in Navarra in northern Spain. It now looks like something straight out of a Disney movie.

While admittedly the statue was looking the worse for wear, local authorities are horrified that the church went ahead with such a “restoration” without the approval of the town’s government saying the botched attempt has caused “irreparable loss” to the town’s heritage.

The story has brought up a previous botched “restoration” of “Ecce Homo," a painting of Christ in another church that now looks more like a monkey than the son of God.

Church’s priest attempts to restore a priceless statue

As reported by the Guardian, the carved wooden statue of St. George on his horse has featured in the church in Estella, Navarra, Spain from right back in the 16th century. It was a prized and priceless part of the town’s life. However, when the priest got it into his head to try to return the priceless relic to its former glory, he enlisted a local school teacher to handle the task, to disastrous effect.

The Independent quotes local mayor Koldo Leoz as saying the botched restoration attempt had been carried out without the consent of the local government, which oversees all priceless monuments in the town.

Leoz said it is “unfair” to say this was a “restoration” and that damaged statue was an “irreparable loss.”

Leoz tweeted (in Spanish above which was translated on Twitter), to ask how it could be possible for a parish priest to decide the fate of a priceless statue, without asking for permission.

He went on to say the priest had ignored his legal duty or lost his professional judgment. Leoz did go on to say he didn’t doubt the good will of the pastor or the teacher, but that this was serious negligence on their part.

Leoz also included a tweet (in Spanish above) to say that the town of Estella is not in the media for its spectacular, artistic, historic, cultural and architectural heritage, all due to the botched attempt to renovate a 16th-century statue which featured in one of the most imposing churches in the city.

‘Ecce Homo’ botched renovation in Borja, Spain

The news of the botched renovation in Estella instantly brought up recollections of the disastrous end to the ancient religious mural of Christ in a church in Borja, northeastern Spain. In that case, a woman, named only as “Carmen,” totally destroyed the original work making Christ resemble a monkey.

In the meantime, Leoz is trying to save the face of his own city by opening an investigation to find out if a restoration expert could reverse the teacher’s attempts.