Photo: Ecco Homo - Ecco Mono
The much criticized amateur artist Cecilia Gimenez of Borja, Spain is laughing all the day to the bank these days.
Gimenez was catapulted on to the front pages of art news in 2012 when she “disfigured” the 19th century fresco titled “Ecce Homo” (Behold the Man) that was located inside the Santuario de Misericodia in the tiny northeast hamlet of Borja. The 81-year-old self-anointed art restorer took a peeling fresco of Jesus Christ with thorns and transformed him into “ Ecce Mono“ (Behold the Monkey). Others refer to the fresco as “Monkey Christ” and others as “Beast Jesus”.
The church accused Gimenez of working on the painting without permission. Art experts bashed her as a danger to the treasures of Spain.
Now thanks to the publicity the town is enjoying a surge in tourism, the church has raised 50,000 Euros and Gimenez is about to get a lucrative merchandising deal. Get ready for all things Monkey Christ from cups, key chains and post cards.
Gimenez will get to keep 49 percent of profits and the rest goes to charity.
Gone are the days when there was talk of restoring “Monkey Christ” back to the original “Ecce Homo”. Most art experts believe it would be impossible to restore the fresco by Elias Garcia Martinez.
Gimenez for her part remains a committed artist set to open a new art exhibit of her own work in a town gallery according to Spanish news reports.