World Europe 20 Aug 2016 Botched church fresc ...

Botched church fresco makeover inspires opera

AFP
Published Aug 20, 2016, 2:34 am IST
Updated Aug 20, 2016, 2:47 am IST
The American playwright who wrote the opera along with composer Paul Fowler.
The original version of the painting Ecce Homo (left) by 19th-century painter Elias Garcia Martinez, the deteriorated version (centre) and the restored version by an elderly woman in Spain. (Photo: AFP)
 The original version of the painting Ecce Homo (left) by 19th-century painter Elias Garcia Martinez, the deteriorated version (centre) and the restored version by an elderly woman in Spain. (Photo: AFP)

Madrid: When an elderly widow in a tiny Spanish town decided to restore a church fresco of Christ, the result was so disastrous that it went viral and she became a global laughing stock.

Fast-forward a few years, and the tables have turned considerably for Cecilia Gimenez, now 85, whose “restoration” in Borja resembles a pale-faced ape with cartoon-style eyes and a crooked smudge for a mouth.

 

Her makeover has sparked such interest that people are flocking to the northern town, mugs and t-shirts bearing the botched image are on sale and the incident has inspired an opera — excerpts of which will be performed for the first time in Borja on Saturday.

“It’s a hybrid, it has music from Bach, Gregorian chants, and then it has some numbers that sound like Lady Gaga or Frank Sinatra,” says Andrew Flack, the American playwright who wrote the opera along with composer Paul Fowler.   

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