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    Dec 15, 2014

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

    The Lord moves in mysterious ways.

    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.

    It became a huge meme.

    Its smudgy face was everywhere.

    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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