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Jesus fresco ruined by well-meaning amateur artist

1:15 PM, Aug 23, 2012   |    comments
By Centro de estudios Borjanos, AP
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By Douglas Stanglin, USA TODAY

A small Spanish town is trying to figure out what to do with a 20th-century painting of Christ that has been disfigured by a local artist who was trying to restore it, the Associated Press reports.

Juan Maria Ojeda, a town official in Borja, says 80-year-old Celia Giménez decided to touch up the fresco of Christ wearing a crown of thorns in Misericordia church. He says no one realized how badly disfigured the painting was until she rang town hall to say what she had done.

The fate of the painting, completed in 1930, has made national news in Spain, the AP says.

The fresco is of the genre known as Ecce Homo style ("Behold the Man"), prompting some Twitter users to dub it Ecce Mono ("Behold the Monkey").

Giménez later defended herself, The New York Times reports, telling Spanish TV that she had the approval of the local clergy and had worked in broad daylight.

"The priest knew it," she says. "I've never tried to do anything hidden."

USA TODAY

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