| CECILIA Giménez has offered to help official art restorers repair the painting of the Ecce Homo she 'damaged'.
A preliminary study of the fresco, which is on a wall in the Cathedral of Borja (Zaragoza), has shown that the oils used by the 81-year-old art-lover have not penetrated the stone and can therefore be easily peeled off to reveal the original painting underneath.
Experts say that as Cecilia did not know enough about art restoration, she would have been unaware of the type of paints and chemicals that should be used to soak into the wall and ensure the colour takes hold, becoming permanent.
Cecilia, who 'restored' the badly-deteriorated picture voluntarily and of her own free will, says she has often repaired other paintings in the Cathedral with the full knowledge of the vicar, as a favour.
But the vicar denies this is the case.
However, Cecilia's work – which she said was unfinished when the story hit the headlines – has caused such a furore around the world that tourists have been turning up in thousands to see it.
Ryanair offered extra-cheap flights to Zaragoza, and travellers have come over in tour groups from Japan and the USA.
The small market town of Borja has never seen so many tourists, say restaurant and café owners, who claim they have been constantly busy and have had to put extra tables outside to cater for the visitors.
An internet campaign has been calling for the 'new' version of the painting to be left as it is.
The image is now behind a screen and cordoned off to prevent people from touching it.
Given that photos of the fresco have gone viral, Cecilia recently said she was considering applying for copyright.
As yet, Borja council has not confirmed what it intends to do with the painting, and it is not known whether the art restorers who have been studying the work will take up Cecilia's offer of help.
But they have concluded it will be impossible to peel off the 'new' Ecce Homo and keep it intact to display elsewhere in the Cathedral, as was originally considered.