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Industry Mocks Elderly Woman's Botched Fresco Restoration

Ecce Homo Paintings - H 2012
Getty Images
Three version's of Elías García Martíne's "ecce homo", from left to right, show an original, a deteriorated version, and how it looked after the unsuccessful restoration.

Acclaimed comic book writer Gail Simone tweeted: "You know, that 16th century fresco above my toilet is looking a little shabby...where are my Sharpies?"

Sometimes good intentions turn out horribly, horribly wrong. 

Case in point: When an “ecce homo” fresco of Jesus turned up at a Spanish church, its subject looking more like an ape than the son of God, authorities speculated vandals had struck.

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But an elderly parishioner has stepped forward to claim responsibility for the 19th century painting's new look, the New York Times reports.

Cecilia Giménez said she was trying to restore the painting, which is her favorite depiction of Christ wearing a crown of thorns. Giménez, who is in her 80s, appeared on Spanish television to explain how she attempted to repair parts of the work that had flaked off over the years. She also claimed a priest at the church housing the painting had given his blessing for her to restore it. 

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The world at large and the entertainment industry have responded with glee to the unintentional desecration: 

As for the fate of the amateur restoration artist, authorities are considering bringing charges against her.

The painting's botched restoration was brought to public attention this month after the descendants of its artist, Elías García Martíne, suggested donations be solicited for its preservation.