Restorer Behind ‘Beast Jesus’ to Star in Music Video

Elías García Martínez, Ecce Homo (1930), and Cecilia Giménez's infamous 2012 restoration attempt.
Elías García Martínez, Ecce Homo (1930), and Cecilia Giménez's infamous 2012 restoration attempt.

In August 2012, Cecilia Giménez‘s botched restoration of a fresco in a small Spanish church garnered worldwide derision and ridicule (see Botched Restoration Of Jesus Fresco Miraculously Saves Spanish Town). Now, nearly two years later, the 82-year-old is getting her chance at redemption via a music video that casts her as the hero, rather than the bumbling fool, reports Heraldo.

The song, “El ministerio de la felicidad” or “The Ministry of Happiness,” is by Zaragozan musician Angel Petisme. The singer will play the figure of Jesus in the painting, come to life in order to thank Giménez for her labors. The fresco, titled Ecce Homo (Behold the Man), became known as “The Monkey Christ,” “Beast Jesus,” and other assorted nicknames after the elderly woman’s brushwork gained media attention (also check out See the Most Controversial Depictions of Jesus in Art).

Petisme claims to have been motivated by sympathy for Giménez, who, according to the BBC, suffered panic attacks after her redone fresco became an intent sensation. The musician believes that Giménez’s restoration was an act of love, and that she should be judged by her generous motivations, not the end result.

The music video isn’t the only good to have come from the unsightly restoration: thousands of tourists have flocked to Borja’s Santuario de La Misericordia to see the painting, originally by Elías García Martínez, in its restored state. Giménez, who has since gone on to show her original artwork, will appear in the video as herself, according to the Telegraph.

For more artnet News stories on botched restorations, see Appalling Restoration Destroys Giotto Frescoes at the Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi.


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