Amateur art restorer ruins fresco of Christ in Spanish town

By Daniel S Levine,

It’s a case of a DIY job gone horribly wrong. An amateur art restorer has outright ruined a 19th Century fresco painting of Christ in a Spanish town’s church after deciding to do some touch-up work on it herself.

The elderly woman saw that the masterpiece, Ecco Homo by Elias Garcia Martinez, needed work and decided to take her own paintbrush and slap some red and brown paint over Martinez’s careful work, reports The U.K. Guardian.

It was just a couple of weeks after the Centro de Estudios Borjanos in Borja noticed the damage when Martinez’s granddaughter made a donation to have his work restored. The church's employees looked at the painting to see what work needed to be done and were horrified to find the sloppy work of Cecilia Gimenez.

Although The BBC reports that she was not authorized to do the work, Gimenez insists otherwise. “(The) priest knew it! He did!” she told the BBC. “How could you do something like that without permission? He knew it!”

According to ABC News, Juan Maria Ojeda, who is in charge of cultural affairs for the city, told the Spanish media that she did turn herself in when she noticed the damage she did had “gotten out of hand.”

“I think she had good intentions. Next week she will meet with a repairer and explain what kind of materials she used,” Ojeda told the BBC. “If we can't fix it, we will probably cover the wall with a photo of the painting.”

It is not known if the damage done can be fixed. Martinez’s work has more of a sentimental value to the town and does not hold a high value on the art market.



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