A 200-year-old fresco in a rural Spanish church isn’t the kind of painting that garners international appeal. But after a well-intentioned octogenarian decided to try her own hand at restoring the painting, deteriorating after years of neglect, her botched job propelled the painting to new life. When photos of the “restored” Ecce Homo fresco, formerly depicting Jesus wearing a crown of thorns, hit the Internet, the laughter couldn’t be contained. The nicknames immediately flooded forth as everyone became an art critic, attempting to discern what the amateurish new painting was supposed to be: an alien? A sloth? Among the most popular descriptions were Potato Jesus because of the creature’s oblong skull, and Ecce Mono (“Behold the Monkey). Enthralled fans began to restore their own Ecce Homo paintings with their own terrible artistry skills. Of course, the renewed interest, satirical as it may have been, brought tourists in droves to the church in northeast Spain, leading the church to reconsider touching up the touch-up.
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