The worn - but still beautiful - Qing dynasty art that adorned the Yunjie Temple has been painted over with a garish and totally unfaithful 'restoration'.
The building in Chaoyang in the province of Liaoning is over 270 years old and was in need of restoration.
When authorities enquired into how much a professional restoration of the frescoes would cost they were told it would cost £404,000.
Turned off by the price they decided to take matters into their own hands and hired local contractors.
The official in charge of temple affairs, and the head of the city's cultural heritage monitoring team have both been fired, reports the Global Times.
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One user of the country's weibo microblogging site, said: "As a man from Chaoyang, I sincerely feel some people's brains were kicked by a donkey," reports the Sydney Daily Telegraph.
They added: "I should have cut the frescos down with a knife and brought them home if I had predicted this."Suggest a correction