Saturday, August 25, 2012

Retouching the face of Christ

Damaged: Moisture in the church caused the surface of the fresco to deteriorate

Presumably you have heard of the Spanish woman who decided the picture of the face of Christ in her local church was a little damaged and so thought she would do a little re-touching.

It ended up like this:
'Repaired': The image bears more resemblance to a character from Planet of the Apes than to Jesus after a woman in her 80's 'repaired' it without permission
The story is rich in metaphors. I'd hate to think what else this old lady might get up to in her parish.
I am sure the same or worst would happen if the parish priest got his paint brush out but I rather think he has a responsibility for preserving the face of Christ but if the image is lost or damaged or obscured by old ladies... what then?

It should have looked like this
:Original: Elias Garcia Martinez's 'Ecce Homo', which has been admired by worshippers at the Sanctuary of Mercy Church in Zaragoza, Spain, for more than 120 years


Mike Cliffson said...

as a PP how would you feel if a parishoner/parishoners, probably chaps, had motu propio, unannounced, and anoymously come in one time and mended the leaky roof/ blocked downpipe/ cracked uppipe/erbled-out dampcourse/whatever
that CAUSED the damp that deteriorated the picture in the first place?
(I ve known PPs that won't let one repair a leaky tap without due process, perhaps understandably..........)

Anonymous said...

Reminds of when I was PP in Ramsgate and my octogenarian sacristan painted the bottom half of my church pink as a surprise while I was on holiday. It certainly was a surprise. I don't know how diocesan art and architecture committees can legislate for that. At least mine was easily solvable. I am not sure about this case.

Matthew Roth said...

Fr Steven, it's already been announced that it's ruined.
As we say in the Southern US rather ironically, bless her heart.
But boy, did she ruin a beautiful piece of art or what.

nickbris said...

We haven't yet recovered from having our interior covered in plastic paint;it is costing a fortune.

If we got a little of the publicity generated by that "artist,s"efforts we could get enough cash to get the job finished.

RichardT said...

It reminds me of those awful puppets:

Gigi said...

Bless her heart indeed, Matt R; but certainly not her art... What a shame. It was so genuinely beautiful before the "touching up"! What a modern moral there is there.

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