MADRID (AP) — A woman's attempt to restore a fresco in an obscure Spanish church is a lesson in unintended consequences.
First, 80-year-old Cecilia Gimenez (hih-MEHN'-ehz) botched the job and drew international condemnation for disfiguring the image of Christ. Critics said she made it look like a monkey. Gimenez was mortified.
Then, the image she created began showing up on T-shirts, cellphone covers, coffee mugs and wine labels.
And now, it's made her town famous. People are flocking to Borja (BOHR'-hah) to see the botched restoration. So many have been showing up that the foundation that owns the church now charges admission.
With everybody else cashing in, Gimenez is hoping to get something out of her work besides ridicule. Her lawyer is investigating possible copyright infringements. If it turns out she has rights, she could pursue payments from those using the image to sell products.
Gimenez says anything she earns would go to charity. She's most interested in funding groups that help people with congenital muscular dystrophy, because she has a son with the disorder.
APPHOTO PW105: File - In this combination of two undated handout photos made available by the Centro de Estudios Borjanos, the 20th century Ecce Homo-style fresco of Christ , left and the 'restored' version, at right. Only a month has gone by since an 80-year-old artist won global infamy for botching a restoration of a fresco of Christ in a little-known Spanish town, but it took even less time for Internet entrepreneurs to start copying her image compared to a monkey's head to sell everything from T-shirts to cellphone covers and wine. Now a mortified Cecilia Gimenez has lawyers researching her intellectual property rights, and could demand a cut of profits to benefit charity for her amazingly popular disfiguration of the fresco from the genre known as "Ecce Homo" ("Behold the Man) style. On Twitter, where the story and image went viral, her version is known as "Ecce Mono" ("Behold the Monkey.)" (AP Photo/Centro de Estudios Borjanos, File) (23 Aug 2012)
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