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The caper of the octogenarian restorer continues!

BBC News has an interview with Cecilia Gimenez, the woman in Borja, Spain, who took it upon herself to restore a 19th-century church fresco by painter Elías García Martínez. Gimenez indicates that although she may have gone a bit overboard, having local people touch up paintings is the norm: “We’ve always restored everything here!” she tells a BBC interviewer, who follows up by asking if someone told her to do the work.

“Of course, it was the priest!” answers Gimenez. But the BBC reporter isn’t having it. “You did it secretly, didn’t you?” she asks.

Oh dear. This poor woman.

Gimenez responds emphatically that, no, she didn’t, but her protest is made even more amazing by the BBC translator’s voice, which sounds like a loopy Monty Python caricature. “Noooo, of course not!”

A Borja Culture Councillor said the town is bringing in professional restorers to see what they can do to fix the painting. In the meantime, instead of Jesus, worshippers at the church can pray to an overweight Eskimo.

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Jillian Steinhauer

Jillian Steinhauer is a former senior editor of Hyperallergic. She writes largely about the intersection of art...

4 replies on “Octogenarian Restorer Says the Priest Knew What She Was Doing”

  1. She made Jesus more interesting. Frankly do we need another dreamy eyed Jesus gazing over the horizon?

        1. The nickname of E&J Brandy has just been updated. It is no longer “Easy Jesus.” It is now “Eskimo Jesus.” It will keep you warm when the cold winds blow.

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