An elderly woman’s catastrophic attempt to “restore” a century-old oil painting of Christ in a Spanish church has provoked popular uproar, and amusement.
The well-intentioned but ham-fisted amateur artist, in her 80s, took it upon herself to fill in the patches and paint over the original work, which depicted Christ crowned with thorns, his sorrowful gaze lifted to heaven.
Her work done, the “restored” figure looks somewhat like a monkey with fur surrounding a pale face and a child-like drawing of eyes, a cartoon-style nose and a crooked smudge for a mouth.
Titled Ecce Homo (Behold the Man), the original was no masterpiece, painted in two hours in 1910 by a certain Elias Garcia Martinez directly on a column in the church at Borja, northeastern Spain.
The new version has become a national joke, reminiscent of fictional film character Mr. Bean’s comic attempt to restore Whistler’s Mother after he sneezes on it and mistakenly wipes off the face.
Social networks and online news sites were deluged with comments by users, many of whom created their own versions of the restored work incorporating the faces of King Juan Carlos or Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.