Prized Spanish fresco ruined by amateur painter

23 August 2012, 11:26 | Updated: 23 August 2012, 11:39

An elderly artist has attempted to restore a cherished fresco in a Zaragoza church, with culturally distressing results.

As you may have heard John Suchet mention this morning before some music by Rodrigo, a cherished Spanish fresco has been somewhat ruined by the unauthorised attempts of an elderly local artist to restore it. The picture, 'Ecce Homo' ('Behold The Man') depicts the son of God with a crown of thorns - you can see above the results of the attempted restoration.

The fresco had been displayed in a Zaragoza church for more than 100 years and had recently begun to deteriorate, prompting the elderly artist, in her 80s, to restore it. Unfortunately the subtleties of the Elias Garcia Martinez original were covered by the woman's ungainly strokes.

When she realised that the painting was irreparable, she contacted local councillor Juan Maria Ojeda for advice. Ojeda commented: "I think she had good intentions. Next week she will meet with a repairer and explain what kind of materials she used."

While the fresco is not considered especially valuable, it has been in the same church for over 100 years and is said to be fondly thought of by locals. Ojeda continued: "If we can't fix it, we will probably cover the wall with a photo of the painting."