When Restoration Turns Into Destruction


Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/24/world/europe/botched-restoration-of-ecce-homo-fresco-shocks-spain.html?_r=1


This is one of those cases where you have to, “see it to believe it!”

An “Ecce Homo”, (Behold the Man), painting of the suffering Christ as presented by Pontius Pilate to an angry crowd, has been, uh …… “restored” by an elderly amateur artist. Actually, to call this “restoration” anything other than a complete trashing of a once viable work of art would be an act of charity to the old woman who disfigured it.

While claiming that the work “was of little artistic importance”, Wikipedia relates that it has achieved a measure of fame due to its inept restorer. What was once a portrait of Christ has now been called a “crayon sketch of a very hairy monkey in an ill-fitting tunic”, and renamed “Ecce Mono” (Behold the Monkey).

Bizarrely, the church where the fresco resides has actually benefited financially from the fiasco, being able to charge visitors a fee to see the mess.

I guess the “Honey Boo Boo” train wreck syndrome is as strong in Spain as it is here in the USA. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry about this. What the heck is wrong with us, people? Can’t we exercise just a little sanity now and then, and not gawk at the latest disaster, whatever it may be? (Writers, of course, are exempted from any anti-gawking guidelines, as we have a, ** cough, cough **, moral imperative to inform the public.)

To add one final twist to this weird tale, Cecilia Giménez, the decrepit “artist” behind the paintings demise, has hired a lawyer to get her “fair share” of the loot the church is now receiving from her “work”.

Beware of senile old ladies wielding paint brushes!!


Further reading:

An article on the botched restoration by CBS news: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503543_162-57498911-503543/spanish-fresco-ruined-by-good-intentions/

Wikipedia’s article on the “fresco fiasco”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecce_Homo_(El%C3%ADas_Garc%C3%ADa_Mart%C3%ADnez)