Monday, 11 November 2013

Chinese Buddhist Frescoes Overpainted a'la Spanish Masterpiece

Do you remember the Spanish pensioner who painted over a 100 year old fresco in her local church?

Ecce Homo (Behold the Man) by Elias Garcia Martinez has been on display in the Sanctuary of Mercy Church near Zaragoza for more than 100 years.

Well now Chinese authorities have had a go at “restoring” centuries-old Buddhist frescoes in a Chaoyang temple with “cartoon-like figures from Taoist myths.”

The faded and peeling paintings were inside a 270-year-old temple in the north-eastern province of Liaoning, which is nearly 400 miles north of Beijing.

Years after it was created the intricate fresco, which dated back to the early period of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), was left with only hints of its former glory, with large pieces scratched away and only scraps of colour left.

But they have now been completely painted over with cartoon-like Taoist figures in garish colours. The crude characters are dressed in pinks, greens, yellows and blues and bear no resemblance to the former painting that was in the Chaoyang temple.

Figures swaddled in robes can be seen riding ponies, mythical beasts and elephants.

Ren Xiuqi, an official responsible for the management of the Phoenix Mountain where the temple is located, said 'inspection and law enforcement' teams had been dispatched to the temple to prevent further damage.

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