A Spanish octogenarian's horribly botched "restoration" of a 102-year-old fresco of Jesus has an unexpected silver lining: The tourists love what one Gothamist commenter calls, "Monchichi Christ!"
Cecilia Gimenez decided to fix the fresco, because its deteriorated condition upset her. But then the image turned into something more like outsider art that a BBC correspondent described as "a crayon sketch of a very hairy monkey in an ill-fitting tunic." According to the AFP, the Spanish town of Borja saw "hundreds of curious visitors queued up outside the Iglesia del Santuario de Misericordia church, where the image is painted on a column." FWIW, the AFP also described the re-working of Ecce Homo as "a pale monkey's face surrounded by fur, with misshapen eyes and nose, and a crooked smudge for a mouth."
Also, there's a Change.org petition to keep the botched version: The Google translation of the petition says, "The daring work of the artist spontaneously in Ecce Homo Mercy Shrine of Borja, is endearing and a loving act, a clever reflection of political and social situation of our time. In which reveals a subtle critique of creationist theories of the Church, as well as question the emergence of new idols. The result of the intervention cleverly combines primitive expressionism Francisco de Goya, with figures such as Ensor, Munch, Modigliani or Die Brücke group, belonging to the artistic movement of German Expressionism."
One supporter even commented, "As an art historian I realize that would be a mistake to remove this new work, completely modern and reflecting in a simple and naive popular mysticism."
Gimenez insists that the priest knew about her guerrilla art and added that she knows art because she's an artist, "I had a four-room exhibition - I sold 40 paintings."