A Spanish pensioner who became an unlikely global phenomenon, after botching restoration work on a religious fresco at her church, is demanding royalties for her work after it became a tourist draw.
Curious visitors have been flocking in their hundreds to see the smudged remains of the once fine piece of art, drawn there by a wave of publicity and media attention generated by the ill-advised work.
The amateur update of Ecce Homo (Behold the Man) is now a major tourist attraction at the Santuario de Misericordia church in Borja after Ryanair offered cut-price tickets to nearby Zaragoza airport for ‘pilgrims’ keen to weep over the work for themselves.
That inadvertent success though has prompted Cecilia Gimenez, to claim that she is due a chunk of the £3 entrance fee the church is now charging visitors, which has raked in 2,000 euros in the first four days alone.
Gimenez’s lawyer, Enrique Trebolle, said: “She just wants the church to conform to the law. If this means economic compensation she wants it to be for charitable purposes.”
Legal action by the family of the fresco’s original artist, Elias Garcia Martinez, has also been threatened.