The story of an octogenarian who took it upon herself to restore a minor 19th century Spanish fresco has has already become legend, spreading virally on the web over the last weeks. We have now found the image above, of an artist’s impression of the Last Supper by reader John Murphy, with the tag line “She’s at it again!” We’ve always imagined the work of an art restorer to be a laborious professional job involving highly-trained individuals. But this redefines the job description.
The story broke when fellow worshippers raised the alarm when the 120-year-old fresco, Ecce Homo by Elijah Garcia Martinez, was transformed into something which looks more like a character from “Planet of the Apes”. To add to the humiliation, a local Catholic cultural foundation, the Centre for Borjanos, had just received a donation from the granddaughter of the artist to return the fresco to its former glory. ‘The woman, Cecilia Gimenez, who is in her 80s, apparently considers herself to be an artist, acted without authorisation from anyone. ‘The church is always open because many people visit and although there is a guard, no one realised what she was doing until she had finished.’
Gimenez, could now face legal action. Change.org the petition website have created an online petition–it already boasts more than 18,000 signatures calling for the church not to make any changes to her work on the painting.