In August, Cecilia Gimenez made headlines when she botched a restoration attempt to fix a fresco of Jesus Christ at her local church in Borja, Spain. While authorities were initially planning on suing her, her awful work has gained so much notoriety that the church has begun to make money off of it and she wants a cut of the profits.
Gimenez took it upon herself to restore Elias Garcia Martinez’s Ecce Homo, a piece that previously had no major value in the art world. She slapped red and brown paint to make it look more like a monkey than the image of Jesus Christ. The irony was that Martinez’s granddaughter had just made a donation to have the work restored weeks before.
While authorities were angered by Gimenez’s job, it became an Internet hit, sparking a budget airline to offer tickets to a local airport specifically so people can see the painting, now nicknamed Ecce Mono (“Behold the Monkey”), reports The Telegraph.
There have been petitions to keep the piece looking as bad as it does and the church has begun charging an entrance fee. The image has also been printed on several products available online.
Now, it is being reported that Gimenez wants a slice of the church’s profits, although her lawyers have denied that, reports the AP. Instead, they are looking to see if there were copyright infringements made by companies that sold products with the image. If she does hold the rights, she could be due royalties, which they say she will donate to charity.
The Sancti Spiritus Hospital Foundation, which owns the church, has also started taking legal action to figure out what to do with the work, while the original artist’s family wants Martinez's work fixed.Edit: Font changed.