Sunday, 26 August 2012


“Hell isn’t merely paved with good intentions; it's walled and roofed with them. Yes, and furnished too.” - Aldous Huxley

A well-meaning retiree in Spain, Cecilia Jimenez, 81, has achieved worldwide notoriety after attempting to restore a 19th century fresco by herself. Without appropriate authorization, the woman initiated her own restoration project by painting a crude rendition of Christ’s face over a crumbling fresco on the wall of the church. She maintains that the church priest knew about it, and because the parishioners repaired everything in the church themselves, this project was not to be an exception…

Thus, with the best of intentions, Señora Jimenez took out her oil paints and palette and began to overpaint the fresco. She managed to turn the 120-year-old fresco, “Ecce Homo” (Behold the Man) by Elijah Garcia Martinez, into a rather grotesque figure that resembles more a zombie than a saint. To add to the embarrassment, a local Catholic cultural foundation, the Centre for Borjanos, had received a donation from the granddaughter of the artist which it was about to spend on returning the fresco to its former glory.

As result, the publicity surrounding the “restoration” has brought hundreds of visitors to the Sanctuary of Mercy Church. Internet wits have also turned their hand at transposing the mangled Spanish Jesus face onto some of the world’s most revered masterpieces - from Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” to Edvard Munch’s “Scream”.

Here is an NBC video report of the amateur’s botched restoration attempt.

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