On Tuesday, TheBlaze was one of the first news outlets to bring you the story of the 80-year-old Spanish grandmother who, even if good-intentioned, ruined a fresco painting of Jesus after attempting to “restore” it. The painting belongs to the Centro de Estudios Borjanos church in Borja, Spain.
Here’s the photo that shows the painting’s gradual destruction:
The leftmost image is what the painting looked like two years ago; the middle image is how it looked in July when it was photographed for a religious art catalog; and the rightmost image is how it looks now after the attempted restoration. In a painful stroke of irony, the church had reportedly just received a donation to have the fresco repaired professionally.
Now, Cecilia Jimenez, the elderly woman behind the botched touch-up, is speaking out and claiming she was asked to fix the painting, according to Al Jazeera. She is actually, believe it or not, a painter — or at least refers to herself as such.
“We saw that everything was falling down and we fixed it,” she told Spain state television TVE.
After being asked if she was instructed to fix the painting, she said: “Of course, the priest knew it. The priest knew it, he did. How could we do something like that without his permission?”
“You did it secretly, didn’t you?” a reporter asked.
“No, of course not. Everyone who came into the church could see me as I was painting.”
While the painting wasn’t necessarily valuable before it was ruined, it certainly was rare and considered to be one of two known original works of art by 19th century painter Elias Garcia Martinez.
All that being said, the old woman says she is upset with what she did and the way the painting turned out. The church isn’t too happy with it either and is reportedly looking into whether they can restore Martinez’s “restoration.
Watch the interview via Al Jazeera below: