By Rund Abdelfatah
A 19th century Spanish fresco painting has suffered a peculiar restoration at the hands of an elderly town resident.
Upset that the image had been damaged from years of moisture decay, Cecilia Gimenez, 80, resolved to ‘restore’ the painting of Christ, entitled ‘Ecce Homo’ (‘Behold the man’), resulting in a catastrophic rendition of the original piece that has been parodied worldwide.
A dedicated volunteer at the Sanctuary of Mercy Church in Borja where the work hangs, the well-meaning pensioner decided to restore the wall mural on a whim.
Town hall official Juan Maria Ojeda said the work had been ‘done with good intentions’ but had quickly got out of hand, resulting in the rather childish appearance of Christ.
He became aware of the blurred and nearly unrecognisable fresco after the amateur restorer phoned the town hall to report she had completed the restoration.
A professional restoration team will now assess the damage and determine whether the original painting can be recovered.
To make matters worse, the local culture centre had just received a donation from the painter’s granddaughter which they had planned to use to restore the original fresco.
Well they say there is a silver lining to every cloud. This botch up, which it is, has served to bring in thousands of people to see the painting and the businesses are rejoicing in the fringe benefits of the unexpected tourist boom. If this carries on hundreds of villages will be offering this well meaning dear old lady their forgotten and dusty paintings to be “restored”. It will probably become as famous as the Mona Lisa in the Louvre!
IMHO I think it is an improvement