El Ecce Homo: The Most Jacked-Up Portrait Of Christ You’ll Ever See…

YIKES–it’s been basically a month of radio silence on my part!!…My apologies, friends, but I’ve got about a month to go before my auxiliar experience in Zaragoza is done for this year, and lately I’ve been feeling a bit uninspired–but, then again, that’s probably due to a mix of the feelings of physical fatigue and general aimlessness I’ve been having lately…

But, enough ranting–I need to talk about the little excursion I made to Borja during Semana Santa, which is a pueblo of around 5,000 about an hour south of ZGZ…I had the opportunity to visit this place with a group of people from the church that I attend (because, hey–all expenses-paid for 50€), and even though it’s not the most spectactuar place I’ve ever been to, it was a fairly nice place to walk around…

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While Borja is a quiet, unassuming sort of place, it has become a very popular tourist spot–no, really!!…You see, in 2012, Cecilia Giménez–a local, octogenarian amateur artist–took it upon herself to renovate el Ecce Homo, a fresco in the nearby Sanctuario de Misericordia that depicts Christ with his crown of thorns…Now, to give you an idea of the results of said restoration, here’s a look at the “before” and “after”:

Ecce_Homo_(Elías_Martínez,_Cecilia_Giménez)

…Yeah…

I mean, I’m not going to say that it’s bad, but it’s definitely different!!…Surprisingly, what started off as an embarassing, local news story made international headlines (of course, there are a ton of memes!!) and tourism to the area has boomed: In the first year after the restoration, more than 50,000€ was made (it’s 1€ per visitor–do the math!!)…The awesome thing is that a good deal of the money they raise goes to charity–so, yeah, it’s a bit ridiculous, but something good has come out of the absurdity!!…

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…One of several maps that indicates where tourists come from…

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Over to you: What are some of the most…interesting works of art you’ve ever seen???…

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