Entertainment & Arts

'Monkey Christ' fresco boosts visitors to Spanish town

Elias Garcia Martinez's Ecce Homo (left) and the restoration
Image caption Elias Garcia Martinez's Ecce Homo (left) and the "restoration" made headlines around the world

A Spanish fresco that made headlines around the world after its restoration was botched by an elderly parishioner has had a change in fortune.

Ecce Homo earned the nickname 'Monkey Christ' after Cecilia Gimenez attempted to restore it.

Officials in the town of Borja in northeast Spain say it has drawn more than 40,000 visitors and raised more than 50,000 Euros for charity.

Gimenez and the local council are also set to sign a merchandising deal.

The fresco had held pride of place in the Sanctuary of Mercy Church near Zaragoza for more than 100 years.

Cultural officials said she had the best intentions and hoped it could be properly restored. But officials say it is not now possible to restore the painting's original look.

Since then 81-year-old Gimenez had also her own art exhibited.

The fresco depicts Christ with a crown of thorns in a style known as "Ecce Homo" (Behold the Man). Amid last year's ridicule, some dubbed it "Ecce Mono" - Behold the Monkey.

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