Thursday, August 23, 2012
Provided with the best intentions, Cecilia Giménez decided to restore a Jesus Christ fresco in the Sanctuary of Mercy Church near Zaragoza.
Ecce Homo (Behold the Man), painted by Elias Garcia Martinez over 100 years ago, was in a state of deterioration due to moisture and according to the woman, the saltpetre rot was going to cause even more damaged unless she did something.
According to her granddaughter Teresa García, she had already made some retouches on the tunic before.
The problem is that this time the unskillful 'restorer' decide to go for the head and the result was disastrous.
One could say that if an austronaut had gone on a voyage through the galaxy and comeback, and the first thing he saw had been the restored painting, he would have thought that he had landed on the Planet of the Apes.
After realizing what she had done, the woman soon contacted Juan Maria Ojeda, the city councillor in charge of cultural affairs, who recognized that she had good intentions. However he also said that it's a situation that be dealt with impunity.
The Ayuntamiento de Borja (Zaragoza) and the descents are discussing eventual legal actions. But the Government of Aragon has already reported that there's no foreseable legal action to take place on thneir initiative, since Martinez' Ecce Homo is not an officially classified work of art, therefore not of their competence.
Experts will meet with Cecilia Giménez to try to understand what kind of materials she used, in the hope that the fresco may be restored; due to its already previous state of deterioration, this will prove to be a difficult task. Although the itself is not very valuable, it holds a high sentimental value for local people.
The author of the clumsy act is a woman in her 80s with a disabled 60 year-old son at her expenses.