World's Worst Fresco Restorer Cashes In On Ironic Art Appreciation
It's been almost exactly one year since octogenarian Spanish widow Cecilia Giménez took it upon herself to destroy an 80-year-old Jesus fresco painted on the wall of her local church — and what a year it's been.
After initially regretting her infamous "restoration" of Elías García Martínez's Ecce Homo, Gimenez decided to stake her claim to the money being made by Borja's Sanctuary of Mercy church from the tourists flocking in droves to see the botched painting.
Later, Giménez sought to leverage her notoriety in order to sell some original artwork on eBay.
It worked: An oil-on-canvas entitled "The Bodegas of Borja" was picked up by an eBay bidder for just under $1,500.
Now, a few days shy of the fresco fiasco's first anniversary, Giménez is officially completing her 12-month turnaround from laughingstock to last-laugher with a full-fledged art exhibition in her home village and a 49% cut of the profits from the sale of all merchandise featuring her fresco, Ecce Mono (Behold the Monkey).
More than money, Giménez is also widely celebrated by her fellow villagers for her part in helping draw over 40,000 visitors to the church, which in turn has helped raise over 50,000 euros ($66,285) in donations.
"Now it seems like everyone's happy," Giménez told a local newspaper.