Elderly woman who ruined fresco seeks church’s tourist proceeds
An 81-year-old woman whose failed restoration of a Spanish Catholic church’s 19th-century fresco became the laughingstock of the world now wants the church to pay her a portion of the funds it is collecting from tourists who want to see the ruined work of art.
Cecilia Gimenez attempted to restore Elijah Garcia Martinez’s peeling “Ecce Homo” fresco of Jesus Christ at Sanctuary of Mercy Church in Zaragoza, Spain. The result smeared the features of the image to such shapelessness that it was not recognizably human and was described as a werewolf or a monkey.
Pictures of the painting spread around the world and were republished in major media.
The church began charging admission after tourists began visiting the church. It has collected about $2,600 in the first four days of paid entry.
Gimenez has secured a lawyer to make her case, Sky News says.
She suffered from severe anxiety amid the global reaction to the painting. She is supporting a son with disabilities who himself is over age 60.
The church’s owner, the Sancti Spiritus Hospital Foundation, has asked a lawyer to defend them.
Before it was disfigured, the painting was not thought to be very valuable but locals held it in high regard.