Ken’s Korner: Worst art restoration in history? You decide.
It’s being called the worst art restoration project in history – the disfiguring of a century-old ecce homo (a depiction of Christ, bound and with a thorny crown, just before his crucifixion) by a Spanish woman in her 80s who may have been acting on her own. The woman, Cecilia Gimenez, said she tried to restore the fresco because she was upset that parts of it had flaked off from moisture on a church wall in northeastern Spain where she is a parishioner. The locals were horrified, saying it left Jesus with a half-beard and monkey-like appearance.
Gimenez defended herself by saying she worked in broad daylight, and with the full knowledge and consent of the local clergy. “The priest knew it,” she said. “I never tried to hide anything.” Regardless, local officials in the village of Borja in Spain (not far from the city of Zaragoza) are considering pressing charges. Meanwhile, descendants of the artist who painted the rendering – Elias Garcia Martinez – have proposed making a donation toward its upkeep, and art historians are deciding just how to return the work to its original state.