MIRACLES? This is one crazy miracle in the art world

Elías García Martínez, Ecce Homo (1930), and Cecilia Giménez's infamous 2012 restoration attempt.

In 2012 Cecilia Giménez, an 83-year-old widow and amateur painter, attempted to restore Ecce Homo, an almost century-old fresco of Jesus crowned with thorns in her local church in Borja, Spain.

Despite a valiant effort, the tragically failed restoration went viral and Giménez’s attempt was met with mockery and scorn. Images of the botched fresco swirled around Twitter and Facebook, inspiring a slew of parodies now found on the Internet.

But, two years later, the village has reassessed their attitudes and turned their ridicule into gratitude. The viral images and memes gifted the rural town with free publicity—150,000 tourists from all over the world came to see Giménez’s artistic endeavor and visit the sanctuary overlooking Borja.

“Why are people coming to see it if it is such a terrible work of art?” asked Andrew Flack, an opera librettist who traveled to Borja for research on a new production. “It’s a pilgrimage of sorts, driven by the media into a phenomenon. God works in mysterious ways. Your disaster could be my miracle.”

A much-needed bolstering to the sleepy local economy ensued with restaurants opening and local and neighboring museums reporting the highest rates of visitation from the spill-over of tourists.

“The impact of Ecce Homo has been really great for businesses,” said Mr. Baya, a restaurateur who has done well enough to open a second restaurant. “Sadly, everyone heads to look at a painting that, frankly, is ugly.”

However “ugly” the fresco may be, Ecce Homo is stamped on the town’s lottery tickets and nearby vineyards are fighting over the right to use the image on wine labels. It’s even gotten plum positioning in a Spanish film in which thieves attempt to steal it.


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3 thoughts on “MIRACLES? This is one crazy miracle in the art world

  1. I think that town in Spain would have heard the words, “That’s awful!” more than any other place of art, but God appreciates effort and in our weakness His strength is known.
    Truly, this is a blessing in disguise.

    1. One should watch the Daily show with Jon Stewart, the May 13, 2015 broadcast. There was a religious scholar who had the ABSOLUTE BEST EXPLANATION OF WHAT RELIGION REALLY IS I’VE EVER HEARD.

      I don’t hunk God was involved in this fiasco, but it was pretty shrewd for the town fathers to figure out how to capitalize on the horrendous destruction. FOLLOW THE MONEY TRAIL.



  2. pios iroikos anarttis re malaka kolokoumouna, oute o kastro den ton eithele, enas psixros dolofonos xeiroteros apo ton Stalin re malaka kolokoumouna,,,ai sto dialo me ta filarakia sas gamw tin manna pou sas genise…psolospermata…. auta efxaristw pou me akousate !!

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