Outcry as a 1,000-year-old protected Buddha was painted with 'ridiculous' colours during botched repair works
Bright coloured paint was splattered on the sacred figure in south-west China
Before and after photos of the flubbed restoration has gone viral on social media
Incident was compared with the ruined fresco of Jesus Christ in Spain in 2012
Botched repair works of a protected Buddha statue in south-west China have left the relic covered in bright, cartoonish colours, sparking ridicule and outrage.
One web user joked that the stone sculpture, around 1,000 years old, now appears to have a giant lollipop behind its head; while another person lamented that the sacred figure looks like it belonged in a red light district.
The local government has issued an apology after photos of the flubbed restoration went viral on social media, where users called the paintwork 'disfiguring and disrespectful'.
The alarming facelift in China brought back memories of other botched works, including the failed restoration of a Jesus Christ fresco in a Spanish church in 2012 that left the saviour looking like a hairy monkey.
The restoration works on the protected artifact were actually carried out in 1995 by unqualified workers.
But the incident was brought to light on Saturday after Xu Xin, a guide at the Dunhuang grottoes in Gansu province, posted the pictures on his Weibo account, where criticisms and angry comments quickly gathered.
The relic is situated inside a grotto in Anyue county, Sichuan province, and dates back to the Song dynasty (960-1279).
Before and after pictures of the 1,000-year-old Buddha shows bright red, yellow, blue and green paint splattered onto the sculpture, creating a cartoonish colour scheme.
A halo behind the sacred figure was filled in with different colours, leaving the Buddha's head right in the centre of what looks like a rainbow dart board.
Xu told MailOnline that the botched repair is 'a great shame'.
'Cultural relics are called cultural relics because of their "old" appearances, indicating their historical value,' he said.
'Re-construction works may reflect the believers' faith, but if the original marks of the original artifact are covered up, it will be transformed into a religious statue and wouldn't be a historic relic anymore.'
The incident remained a trending topic on Weibo, with the page titled 'Grotto statue suspected of being brutally restored' gathering more than 42 million views.
'What is that behind the Buddha's head? Is it a lollipop?' One said.
'The once-dignified statue is now completely ruined by amateurs,' said another. 'Looking at the colourful Buddhua, I don't feel peace anymore.'
'The sculpture now looks like it belongs in a red light district,' commented another. 'The colour scheme reminds me of busy traffic lights.'
The Anyue county prides itself on being 'the City of Lemons and the City of Buddhist Sculptures'. There are more than 100,000 sculptures dating back as early as the 900s erected across the township, according to the government website.
In a notice posted on its official Weibo account, the Anyue County government said the restoration job was proposed and paid for by local residents in June, 1995.
'Residents lacked professional knowledge on cultural relic conservation and restoration and hired workers to carry out the repair works,' the statement read.
It claimed that officials immediately stopped the job after finding out, but the Buddha statue was already re-painted. However, they were able to prevent similar works that were scheduled to be carried out on other statues in the same grotto.
'After the incident, the Administration of Cultural Heritage strengthened management and protection of other relics,' it added. 'No similar restoration work was carried out again in recent years.'
China's Criminal Law and Cultural Relics Protection Law stipulates that anyone who damages cultural relics could face a fine ranging from 5,000 yuan (£570) and/or up to 10 years in prison.
In 2013, centries-old Buddhist frescos in a temple in Liaoning province were ruined when they were painted over with cartoon-like Taoist figures during an unauthorised restoration.
The paintings were inside a 270-year-old temple and are said to be from the early period of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). As a result, two government officials were fired.
Elsewhere, a 1930 'Ecce Homo' fresco of Jesus Christ in a church in Borja, Spain was wrecked by a pensioner in her 80s, who became the laughing stock of the world in 2012 after the failed restoration attempts sparked global condemnation.
In June this year, a 16th-century St George sculpture erected in a small church in the town of Estella, northern Spain was left looking 'like a Disney cartoon character' after a botched facelift by a local handicrafts teacher.
来源：三泰虎 http://www.santaihu.com/45781.html 译者：Jessica.Wu
Ringwald Toast, Ratchaburi, Thailand, about 6 hours ago
I've been living and traveling all over Asia for the last twenty years and this looks just fine to me.
Barry Soetoro, Bohemian Grove, United States, about 9 hours ago
Jesus christ, Krishna, Buddha are all the same.
Halvah, East Podunk-Vista, United States, about 10 hours ago
If statues can cry, they can change their clothing.
qahwagi, Madison, United States, about 13 hours ago
Who is to say that the original colors were not "bright,and cartoonish" ??
chebbah, croydon, United Kingdom, about 13 hours ago
I think it's rather great looking .
xx jj, Location Location, United States, about 13 hours ago
colors in ancient times were vibrant. they are only faded by time and bad attitudes .
london1aa, London, United Kingdom, about 14 hours ago
This is factually incorrect - just go and look at any buddhist temple and you will see that bright colours are a feature of them all. Comparing them to chrstian restoratons is irrelevant - go to bangkok and see the accurate buddhist iconology. your outrage is misplaced.
Jojo, San Francisco, United States, about 14 hours ago
Does no one vet the credentials of a restorer any more?
Reallyruby, Liverpool, United Kingdom, about 14 hours ago
I don't think Buddha would be bothered
Duvet King, Bed fordshire, United Kingdom, about 14 hours ago
Meagdog, Kansas City, United States, 14 hours ago
This is news?
Meadowfairie, Charleston, United States, 15 hours ago
It needs to be more muted in color - the bright colors that away from the dignity of the statue . IMHO
Californian, Sacramento, United States, 15 hours ago
It's probably close to the original.
NM2, notts, United Kingdom, 15 hours ago
It's them bloody Pride lot again.
KMD1991, Dublin, Ireland, 15 hours ago
If anything it looks better but if you don't like it, feel free to buy a few cans of paint & repaint it yourselves.
Malakey-es, Orange, United States, 16 hours ago
Looks good to me.
ajara, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 16 hours ago
Well, it has bought a bit of colour into his life.