That’s Just So Mean! (“Ecce Homo” Fresco Edition)

From our The Road to Hellish Art Is Paved with Good Intentions desk

The Germans have a term – schlimmbesserung – which means “to make worse by supposedly improving.”

Exhibit Umpteen, via yesterday’s New York Times:

Despite Good Intentions, A Fresco in Spain Is Ruined

MADRID — A case of suspected vandalism in a church in a northeastern village in Spain has turned out to be probably the worst art restoration project of all time.

An elderly woman stepped forward this week to claim responsibility for disfiguring a century-old “ecce homo” fresco of Jesus crowned with thorns, in Santuario de la Misericordia, a Roman Catholic church in Borja, near the city of Zaragoza.

Ecce homo, or behold the man, refers to an artistic motif that depicts Jesus, usually bound and with a crown of thorns, right before his crucifixion.

The woman, Cecilia Giménez, who is in her 80s, said on Spanish national television that she had tried to restore the fresco, which she called her favorite local representation of Jesus, because she was upset that parts of it had flaked off due to moisture on the church’s walls.

The before-and-after-and-after images:

Can we all agree that #2 was preferable to #3?

Thank you very much.


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3 Responses to That’s Just So Mean! (“Ecce Homo” Fresco Edition)

  1. This could be the funniest story ever. I think they should let her rewrite the bible, too.

  2. Laurence Glavin says:

    If you’ve read Bart Ehrlich’s “Misquoting Jesus”, then you’re aware the the so-called “Bible” has in fact been re-written many times as scrolls were copied and re-copied until Constantine’s minions got around to deciding the ultimate canon.

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