Spanish botched fresco artist sells work on eBay

Spanish fresco ruined by good intentions They say no good deed goes unpunished. A fresco, titled "Ecce Homo," in Borja, Spain became a media sensation after it was discovered that amateur art restorer Cecilia Jimenez destroyed the painting. The fresco, which was painted by famous Spanish artist Elias Garcia Martinez was turned into a cartoonish rendition of Jesus Christ. The incident became so famous that tourists now visit the Spanish city to see Jimenez's work.
AP Photo/Centro de estudios Borjanos

MADRID The 80-year-old Spanish artist who became famous because of her botched restoration of a Christ fresco in a small-town church is auctioning one of her works on eBay for charity.

Celia Gimenez's oil painting "Las Bodegas de Borja" ("Borja's Wine Cellar"), was fetching $808 Thursday, doubling its starting price after 31 bids. The sale closes Monday.

Gimenez became a sensation in August when pictures spread on the Internet of an "Ecce Homo" ("Behold the Man") mural in a chapel in the town of Borja that she disfigured while trying to restore it. Twitter users redubbed it "Ecce Mono" ("Behold the Monkey").

The painting has since become a tourist attraction and the image has been used on T-shirts and wine labels.

A note on eBay says the auction's proceeds will go to the Catholic charity organization Caritas.

In September, Gimenez's lawyers said she has no interest in a cut of the tourism windfall her work has brought to her northeastern Spanish town.

The church fresco in the town of Borja was for decades a little-known piece of religious art depicting Christ with a crown of thorns before crucifixion, painted by a minor Spanish artist. It stood in peaceful obscurity in the Misericordia Sanctuary since its creation in 1930 - until Gimenez, a longtime devotee of the work, decided it needed to be rescued from flaking caused by the damp church air.

The result was so awful that it could only be destined for one thing: worldwide fame.