The Washington Post

Spanish woman botches ‘Ecce Homo’ painting in an attempt to restore it

What started as an octogenarian's attempt to restore an old church painting in Spain has turned into an uproar over vandalism.

Cecilia Gimenez, an elderly parishioner, has claimed responsibility for painting over a century-old devotional fresco by Elias Garcia Martinez in Santuario del Misericordia, a Catholic church in Borja, Spain.

This combination of two undated handout photos made available by the Centro de estudios Borjanos shows the 20th century Ecce Homo-style fresco of Christ before (left) and after (right) an elderly amateur artist Celia Gimenez took it upon herself to restore it in the church of the northern Spanish agricultural town of Borja. (Centro de estudios Borjanos/AP)

The Telegraph reported that Gimenez had undertaken the project "with good intentions,” using a 10-year-old picture of the painting, which had begun to chip and flake over time, in her restoration attempt.

“But she eventually left Jesus with a half-beard and, some say, a monkeylike appearance,” the New York Times wrote.

Gimenez said she had the approval of the local clergy for her restoration attempt, but Borja authorities are now considering taking legal action.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
What can babies teach students?
Unconventional warfare with a side of ale
A veteran finds healing on a dog sled
Play Videos
A fighter pilot helmet with 360 degrees of sky
Is fencing the answer to brain health?
Scenes from Brazil's Carajás Railway
Play Videos
How a hacker group came to Washington
The woman behind the Nats’ presidents ‘Star Wars’ makeover
How hackers can control your car from miles away
Play Videos
Philadelphia's real signature sandwich
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
Europe's migrant crisis, explained