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The Botched "Ecce Homo" Restoration Helped Save A Spanish Town's Economy

The Lord moves in mysterious ways.

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Remember the "Ecce Homo" painting? How an old lady's attempt to restore a fresco of Jesus completely ruined it?

CESAR MANSO/AFP / Getty Images

Eighty-three-year-old Cecilia Giménez's attempts over the course of several years to touch up the Elías Garcia Martínez fresco in a church in the small town of Borja attracted worldwide mockery back in 2012.

Well, now the New York Times is reporting that the botched restoration has inadvertently given the town's economy a massive boost, with thousands of tourists flocking to it to see the fresco.

CESAR MANSO/AFP / Getty Images

Giménez told the Times that when her work first became famous, she “felt devastated. They said it was a crazy, old woman who destroyed a portrait that was worth a lot of money.”

But the picture has become so popular that now the residents of the town celebrate the anniversary of Giménez's work every year, the Times reports.

CESAR MANSO/AFP / Getty Images

Giménez has become a local celebrity, and local restaurants and museums have seen a large boost in trade from the influx of tourists. The fresco has appeared on the town's lottery tickets, appeared in a film, and Giménez was even commissioned to produce label artwork by a nearby wine company.

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