When Spanish octogenarian Cecilia Giménez botched the restoration of a famous, century-old mural by painter Elías García Martínez, she hardly expected the “restored” image (which at present looks sort of like a teddy bear, or a very hairy monkey) to become a meme that would blow up on reddit, 4Chan, and Twitter. But ever since late August, Ecce Homo has become a tourist attraction, bringing scores of Internet jokers to the Santuario de Misericordia Church in Borja, Spain. These tourists are bringing all of their euros, and now Giménez, who earlier claimed she was having anxiety attacks from allthe press coverage, wants a cut.
According to the northern Spain newspaper El Correo cited by TechDirt(which was tipped off by Twitter user @sinkdeep), tourists started flocking to the church, but weren’t leaving any donations. So to prevent the disruptive hordes from overtaking the church, the Santi Spiritus Hospital Foundation, which owns the sanctuary, started charging a fee to visitors wanting to see Ecce Mono, or Behold the Monkey as it’s now jokingly dubbed. In just 4 days, the Foundation made €2,000, (or about $2,600).
El Correo says this has angered Giménez and her family, and they’ve sought lawyers to win royalties for her work, which epically ruined a prized fresco of Jesus Christ. It seems the Santuario de Misericordia Church intends to defend its earnings as well, and has retained lawyers. Luckily, though, Giménez is not charging the millions of Internet users who have shared and spoofed her painting all over the world with copyright abuse.
Via Ars Technica