Notorious Ecce Homo Restorer Cecilia Gímenez Now Potential Art Star


Cecilia Gímenez, the notorious octogenarian painter now credited with "the worst restoration in history" after she botched a 19th-century Christ fresco, may now become an art star in her own right, as demand for her original work online is growing.

Gímenez, 80, became world-famous in August when she attempted a restoration of the one-of-a-kind 19 th century Ecce Homo fresco by the Spanish painter Elias Garcia Martinez with what looked like a few crude brushstrokes.

A member of the Santuario de Misericodia church in Borja, in northeastern Spain, Gímenez is a religious woman, and now she plans to donate the proceeds from the sale of one of her originals to the Roman Catholic charity Caritas, according to the eBay listing.

Interest in what is listed as her 2000 portrait of a local building, "The Bodegas de Borja" ("Borja's Wine Cellar"), peaked early, shooting from €300 to €600 in 12 hours. With three-and-a-half days left in bidding, the painting has now climbed to €807, or $1,060.

The 12.5 x 8.5 inch oil-on-canvas painting also comes signed by the artist in the lower right corner.

The auction appears to be a first step in Gímenez's attempt to step out of the shadows since her work on the Ecce Homo caused a sensation this summer. Globedia reports that she with appear on Spanish television channel Neox's New Year's Eve celebration.

The Santuario de Misericordia church is also reportedly making the best of the botched painting, and has started charging visitors to see it. The Guardian reports it raised €2,000 - or $2,620 - in the first week.