“(The) priest knew it! He did! How could you do something like that without permission? He knew it!” Cecilia Gimenez claims, according to the BBC.
If the priest knew it, the Vatican needs to dash him to Rome for a crash course on art restoration.
Gimenez, reportedly in her 80s, has drastically altered Ecce Homo (Behold the Man), in its 100s, by Elias Garcia Martinez. A neighbor of Sanctuary of Mercy Church near Zaragoza-a city which is a UNESCO World Heritage site in northern Spain-Gimenez hoped to restore the peeling painting’s face of Jesus gazing toward heaven. However, she seems to have turned the savior into (Oh, Lord!) a takeoff on a peaceful alien from “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”
The news issued forth this week. The parishioners’ first reaction was, understandably, one of shock.
A spokesperson for the church told SkyNews Gimenez acted without authorization from anyone, adding, “The church is always open because many people visit and although there is a guard, no one realized what she was doing until she had finished.”
Juan Maria Ojeda, the city councilor in charge of cultural affairs, took a calm approach. “I think she had good intentions. Next week she will meet with a repairer and explain what kind of materials she used. If we can’t fix it, we will probably cover the wall with a photo of the painting.”
The painting is known to possess little financial value, but strong sentimental attachment among the local community. Reportedly, the artist’s granddaughter had donated funds recently to the church for a valid restoration.