When the Santi Spiritus Hospital Foundation, which owns the sanctuary housing the famously "restored" Ecce Homo started charging visitors a fee to see the newly 'updated' century-old mural by painter Elías García Martínez, it opened up a whole can of worms.
Ecce Mono, or Behold the Monkey as it's now jokingly dubbed, has already brought in almost €2,000 for the Foundation in just four days and Spanish octogenarian Cecilia Giménez, whose botched the restoration of the famous work has made her an internet celebrity, and who earlier claimed she was having anxiety attacks from all the press coverage, wants a cut.
According to the northern Spain newspaper El Correo, Giménez and her family are annoyed that an entry fee is being charged, and have taken legal advice about earning royalties for her work, which epically ruined a prized fresco of Jesus Christ. Representatives of the Santuario de Misericordia Church, who claim they intend to use the money to restore the 16th century sanctuary, have allegedly also retained lawyers in a bid to retain earnings from their new tourist attraction.
There are also reports that Ryanair "has put on sale a flight from €12 to travel to Zaragoza from any of the airports where it operates to visit the 'creative restoration.'" But whether the original author of the Ecco Mono will get any money from the mounting entry fees and spin-offs, or whether the church will be reimbursed for the dramatic ruining of a work of art, is still unclear.
Almost 30,000 visitors from all over the world have flocked to the sanctuary since Giménez's "restoration" work became an internet sensation earlier in the summer.