The past couple of days the Internet has been all a frenzy over the hilarious and equally horrifying impromptu restoration of 19th century fresco by a bold 80-year-old woman. Cecilia Gimenez approached the Christ painting "Ecce Homo" by Elias Garcia Martinez and thought it could use a little sprucing up. Unfortunately her restoration got a little out of hand, turning the divine figure into what looks like an furry alien Neanderthal. As one HuffPost commenter put it, "It's Ewok Jesus!" Well, it looks like the world has fallen in love with this particular version of Christ, as devotees have launched a petition attempting to halt the restoration of the restoration.
Image on the left shows the painting as it appeared in July of this year, while the image on the right shows the amateur restoration job of the elderly woman.
The tale the restoration fail immediately went viral, resulting in hoards of tweets, comments and even this hilarious "Beast Jesus Restoration Society" Tumblr. While many media outlets referred to the renegade act as "the worst restoration in history," many people have come out to support art's most unlikely vigilante, Ms. Gimenez, which was the subject of a recent BBC interview.
Jonathan Jones over at The Guardian hailed Gimenez for bringing a virtually invisible work into the pop culture purview, resuscitating it into Internet relevance. Jones even suggests, cheekily of course, "the well-meaning restorer of this obscure Spanish painting should be turned loose on a couple of works that actually matter. Many true masterpieces are starved of the global attention this second-rate Ecce Homo has now got."
It seems like many people agree. Over 5,000 people, described as "ironic art fans" by the Associated Foreign Press, have signed a Change.org petition attempting to save furry Jesus. The petition states that Gimenez's mistake-cum-masterpiece "reveals a subtle criticism of the Church's creationist theories while questioning a resurgence of new idols." While we doubt there was an avant-garde motive behind Gimenez's aesthetic choices, we suppose it is possible, especially given her history as an "accomplished" artist.
Would you sign the petition to save "Beast Jesus"? Or is this taking a trending joke a little too far? Let us know.
In the meantime check out our favorite comments from the original story: