Botched Jesus painting inspires Spanish wine

A botched attempt to restore a fresco in a Spanish church that led to Jesus being turned into a monkey has inspired a wine from the region where the church resides.

The dodgy fresco restoration at a church in Zaragoza turned Jesus into a monkey

As reported by Vine Pair, as art restoration attempts go, the touching up of Ecce Homo (‘behold the man’), will go down in history as one of the worst.

In 2012, 81-year-old parishioner Cecilia Giménez tried to restore a fresco of Jesus from 1930 painted on the wall of the Santuario de Misericordia church in Borja, in the Spanish province of Zaragoza.

Ecce Homo is mainly made from old vine Garnacha

The restoration failed so spectacularly, by smudging his mouth, flattening his nose and turning his crown of thorns into a wreath of fuzzy brown hair, Giménez ended up turning Jesus into a monkey in an ill-fitting tunic.

Some also believe the new version of the Son of God to resemble a potato.

But while Giménez must have been mortified, the botched job became the stuff of legend and tourists began flocking far and wide to take their picture with the dodgy paint job, turning Giménez into a local celebrity.

Known affectionately as ‘Ecce Mono’ (‘behold the monkey’), over 160,000 tourists have made the pilgrimage to see the painting in the tiny town of Borja.

Having got over the initial humiliation of her blunder, Giménez now sees the funny side of the story. “I look at the painting and think It’s O.K., you’re not that ugly. I hold it so dear, to the point that I see him as handsome,” she said.

She has managed to turn her disastrous artistic endeavour into a money making venture, as the church charges guests €1 each to view the fresco, all proceeds of which are donated to a local charity.

Half of the souvenir profits go to Giménez, who uses the money to care for her son, who has cerebral palsy.

The work, called Ecce Homo (meaning ‘behold the man’), has also inspired its own wine by Campo de Borja-based producer Bodegas Aragonesas.

Called Ecce Homo, the wine, priced at €4 a bottle, is made from a blend of old vine Garnacha, Tempranillo, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, and is said to be “harmonious and elegant” with cherry aromas and a hint of chocolate.

One Response to “Botched Jesus painting inspires Spanish wine”

  1. martin skelton says:

    Great colourful story; well done Bdgas Aragonesas

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