Last week, an elderly woman’s ill-advised attempt to restore a 19th-century Spanish fresco hit the headlines and spawned a wave of humorous images across the web. Now, an online petition to the City Council of Borja is asking that the fresco’s new look be maintained.
The original fresco, Ecce Homo by painter Elias Garcia Martinez, is unrecognisable following the botched restoration. However, it has gained plenty of fans online.
The Change.org petition, translated from its original Spanish, claims that the unnamed woman’s restoration is in fact a subtle critique of creationist theories of the Church and that it questions the emergence of new idols.
It also compares the result of the woman’s intervention with the work of great artists like Francisco de Goya, James Ensor, Edvard Munch, Amedeo Modigliani and the Die Brücke group of German expressionists.
Over 20,000 signatures have already been collected, though whether all signatories agree that this is a clever reflection of our current political and social situation or are just having a laugh is questionable. Among the reasons for signing, one user has simply commented, “Street art by seniors”, while another says, “For me [this] represents the resurgence of the real Jesus, of which I am a big fan. I follow him from his first album.”
Meanwhile, fans of the badly-drawn Jesus are now turning the face into a meme, incorporating it into their own images to share online. Here’s a selection of some of the best.