3. Restoration of Elias Garcia Martinez's Ecce Homo by Cecilia Gimenez, 2012
Cecilia Gimenez's restoration of the 19th century fresco in the Santuario de Misericordia Church in the town of Borja, Spain is revelatory of a whole vein of politics usually overlooked when viewing art—the politics of conversation and restoration. The New York Daily News reported last year, that "there were fears when Cecilia Gimenez... marched, brush and oil paint in hand... and daubed over Elias Garcia Martinez's Ecce Homo (Behold the Man) without permission." Ironically, Gimenez's botched "restoration" may have given (the satirically renamed) Ecce Mono (meaning "Behold the Monkey"), its global recognition. But beside the pathetic humor accompanying the "restoration," the publicity also drew attention to city itself, as well as the growing conflict between priorities: tourist revenue or historical restoration? Global recognition or local history?