The story of the best art restoration of our time just gets better! Back in August the world laughed and laughed when a Spanish octogenarian with the best intentions completely butchered a 102-year-old fresco of Jesus called Ecce Homo (Behold The Man). At first the Sanctuary of Mercy Church near Zaragoza, where the fresco lives, was embarrassed about the whole thing—until they realized they had a Catholic cash cow on their hands. And now the restorer wants a cut of the dinero.
Apparently the town of Zaragoza has been besieged by pilgrims wanting to check out the painting/internet meme, now jokingly called Ecce Mono (Behold The Monkey). Seriously, to the point that Ryanair is offering cheap deals to the Zaragoza airport. So the Sanctuary of Mercy Church started charging a 4 euro entrance fee to visitors—and earned 2,000 euros in the first four days!
Now Cecilia Gimenez, who "fixed" the deteriorating painting in the first place, is now asking for a cut, and she's hired a lawyer—but she doesn't want the money for herself! "She just wants the church to conform to the law," lawyer Enrique Trebolle told reporters. "If this means economic compensation she wants it to be for charitable purposes." She specifically wants the money to go towards muscular atrophy charities, as her son suffers from the condition.
Meanwhile, it is unclear what is going to happen to the painting. The family of the original artist, Elias Garcia Martinez, has threatened to sue if it is not restored. But tourists, and at least one online petition, clearly love the new look...