Woman who botched century-old Jesus painting wants to be paid

A combination photo shows an undated handout photograph of the 20th century

A combination photo shows an undated handout photograph of the 20th century "Ecce Homo" style fresco of Jesus Christ before restoration (left) and an undated handout photograph after restoration (right) by an amateur artist Celia Gimenez, 80, who took it upon herself to restore it at the church of Santuario de Misericordia in Borja. (REUTERS/Staff/HO-Centro de Estudios Borjanos/Handout)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:59 PM ET

An elderly woman who inadvertently ruined a century-old Spanish painting of Jesus wants to be paid for her work.

Cecila Giminez, a parishioner in her 80s, made headlines in August for her attempt to restore a 20th-century fresco of Jesus that had been water damaged at a church in Zaragoza, Spain.

Her botched efforts, which turned an Ecce Homo into what critics have compared to a Planet of the Apes character, infuriated officials from the Sanctuary of Mercy Church and left them scrambling to determine if the 102-year-old artwork could be saved.

A BBC Europe correspondent described the restoration as resembling "a crayon sketch of a very hairy monkey in an ill-fitting tunic."

Spanish newspaper Heraldo de Aragon reported the original painter's family believes the damage done to the artwork is "irreversible."

But now Gimenez wants the church to turn over some of the 2000 euro it made in admission fees over four days when it turned the painting into a tourist attraction, reports ElCorreo.com.

The octogenarian has holed herself up in her home, in the village of Borja, overwhelmed by the worldwide attention and the news that approximately 30,000 fans have turned up at the church to see monkey-like Jesus, according to the newspaper.

But that hasn't stopped the accidental artist from hiring a lawyer, who will seek royalties for her work.


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