Woman Demands Royalties on Destroyed Jesus Fresco

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What a dirty old bitch; a swift punch to the mouth is in order.

You know, I think the forces that be (the universe, fate, god, God, however you may call them) probably have a washed-up comedy writer in charge of everything that involves 'art'.

Captcha: let it be

Let it be, indeed.

I may not be a christian myself, but even I think this woman should be happy she didn't get sued to the ground and into the earths mantel for destroying a centuries old piece of art. What she did was vandalism and nothing else. How she managed to avoid being fined I'll never know.

Plus wasn't the painting someone elses to begin with and never hers?

Boudica:

Kyrinn:
Demanding royalties on donations...pretty greasy indeed. No one is making a profit from this so I don't see why she would be entitled to a cut (assuming the church is acting as it should anyway).

The painting has become a magnet for tourists and curiosity-seekers, but while visits skyrocketed, donations didn't, which eventually led the church to begin charging for admission. That started the cash flowing, to the tune of €2000 ($2600) in just four days.

Did you read the OP?

OT: Charging for admission? Disgusting. Yet again, the Church appalls me.

Did you read further than that post? Chalk screwed the pooch on his article translation and gave faulty information until he was corrected.

OT: Well this is curious indeed, I wonder if the church is going to sue her for damages in response? Doubtful, kinda goes against that whole "Tolerance/Mercy" thing the church is supposedly about.

Captcha: Common Law

She is expecting to get paid for sheer incompetence? Sounds like a good choice political office to me. :P

I dunno. Why the hell is a church allowed to charge for admission anyway? Didn't Jesus tear down an entire marketplace once because it was operating on church land? I doubt he'd be too happy about this.

This is like Harry Lee Oswald asking for money from JFK bobbleheads.

I think we should just give the poor old lady a gold star with a sarcastic clap. Then given a poster saying "I'm an arrogant bitch and sadly, I don't have enough time on this planet, left to change that!" This isn't personal to me, because I'm Agnostic but the fact she believes she should gain any royalty what-so-ever is just stupid!

This seems more like a cry for attention... Also, I genuinely believe she's stupid. Not because she's old but she has that kind of narrow-mindedness about her, that makes me want to throw a brick at her house. (Not that I would, she might paint the brick and claim royalties about who actually threw the it).

Let's ignore the fact that she didn't get harshly penalised for the vandalism in the first place.

She should just count her lucky stars her hamfisted attempt at repair of a precious art-work didn't result in her being slapped.

...really? When I first heard about this I got the impression of an old lady who didn't know what she was doing but had good intentions, and would now be deeply sorry for her actions. But asking for royalties on donations centred around something that was an ill-advised and stupid thing to do is just too much. Especially considering she got a slap on the wrist for destroying the fresco in the first place.

People are willing to pay to see the terribly monkey drawing she scrawled over a perfectly good painting, and the church is charging money for it. The destroyed the painting by drawing her own picture over the top of it that means the church is quite literally profiting off her (amazingly bad) artwork. So, if they aren't planning on using the profits to restore it, write it off as a loss, and once the value of the original painting is repaid, start paying her royalties. Otherwise you're displaying her painting in your church, charging people to see it and giving her nothing. The only question is if she donated her painting to the church when she gave it back, or if she merely returned the original, which happened to be beneath her alterations. If the latter, the church is holding her property (in the form of the paint she used) and profiting off it without her permission.

Which basically makes this the most goddamn hilarious art-theft/vandalism case I've ever seen.

The fact that she decided to "restore" it without the permission of the owners makes this clear as glass that she does not deserve it. She ruined a painting without permission and now she demands to get a share of a donation. Demanding to get a cut of charity is low. I hope she wont win this.

saito82:
Yes but what would Jesus do...

Swing from a tree whilst eating a banana

OT: Funniest thing I've ever seen but she deserves no money for it, because from what I gathered, it was illegal. Hilarious (in my opinion), but illegal.

Wow wow, people, most of you are waaaay misinformed about this. I live in Spain, in fact I don't live far away from Borja, and over here the perspective on this news is... well, different. So let me set a few points.

1. The original painting was not a priceless, valuable or fantastic work of art. It was a third rate academic painting from the late 19th century. In this country we have so many paintings like that... geez, I could go to the church in the corner of my street and find at least five or six pieces of art with more value than the original Ecce Homo. It was not very valuable, it was not done by a famous painter, it wasn't even that old: it was just another religious work made by the village's painter at the time. None of his works sell at Sothebys.

2. Cecilia did not steal the painting, as the Ecce Homo is a fresco, meaning: it was painted on a column. The only way you can remove that painting is by complicated chemistry works or by ninja-kicking the column out and running away with a ton-heavy piece of stone. What really happened is she entered the church and worked on the painting, and the priest in charge never stopped her. And he knew she was working on it.

3. This is the Church we are talking about. The Church in Spain. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition, yes? These are not a bunch of peace-loving philantropists, the Church is an organ of power over here. They're rich, they have political influence and they don't pay taxes. This a humble 80 year old woman asking for her cut to a big organization.

And finally...

4. The new painting is faaaar more valuable than the original. From an obscure third-rate Jesus painting to an internationally famous pop symbol. It's ironic, it's unintentional, and it's a good reflection of the internet age. It's a masterpiece of pop art! Ugly? It's shit ugly! But it's relevant and far more important than any academic religious work you can find in any regular town church.


Seriously What?

It's funny, but also tragic just how people can turn into greedy monsters the moment they see a bit of fame and fortune.

You're lucky you weren't sued or put in jail, lady. Don't push your luck.

Let me get this straight she ruined " PRICELESS ART " and wants to get paid for it since people want to see the DAMAGE she did.

Rauten:

Andy Chalk:

One - Don't yell at me, don't swear at me. It's rude.

I'd say that so is to report something as true using a faulty translation without bothering to check up.

Andy Chalk:
Oh, and if you're volunteering for future translation duties, let me know. I'll be more than happy to take advantage.

Hah, no.

The church has forgone voluntary donations for forced donations at the door. Admissions/donations in this context are different only in the way they're collected, not in what pool of money the lady is asking to be cut into. There's a large difference between screaming at someone for misreporting a distinction crucial to the story, and screaming at someone for using a contextual synonym just because you happen to be fluent in the source language. More important than any of that, though, is that you don't scream at anyone at all. Please remain civil in our forums.

They should have it restored and bill her instead then. How greedy..

when this first came up i said i was sure Jesus would have liked it (because said old woman was honestly trying to help) but at this point i'd suggest maybe he'd not be quite as smiley...

Putting aside all questions of artistic integrity and such, she is directly responsible for this economic windfall. She's entitled to compensation.

The Cheshire:
Wow wow, people, most of you are waaaay misinformed about this. I live in Spain, in fact I don't live far away from Borja, and over here the perspective on this news is... well, different. So let me set a few points.

1. The original painting was not a priceless, valuable or fantastic work of art. It was a third rate academic painting from the late 19th century. In this country we have so many paintings like that... geez, I could go to the church in the corner of my street and find at least five or six pieces of art with more value than the original Ecce Homo. It was not very valuable, it was not done by a famous painter, it wasn't even that old: it was just another religious work made by the village's painter at the time. None of his works sell at Sothebys.

2. Cecilia did not steal the painting, as the Ecce Homo is a fresco, meaning: it was painted on a column. The only way you can remove that painting is by complicated chemistry works or by ninja-kicking the column out and running away with a ton-heavy piece of stone. What really happened is she entered the church and worked on the painting, and the priest in charge never stopped her. And he knew she was working on it.

3. This is the Church we are talking about. The Church in Spain. Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition, yes? These are not a bunch of peace-loving philantropists, the Church is an organ of power over here. They're rich, they have political influence and they don't pay taxes. This a humble 80 year old woman asking for her cut to a big organization.

And finally...

4. The new painting is faaaar more valuable than the original. From an obscure third-rate Jesus painting to an internationally famous pop symbol. It's ironic, it's unintentional, and it's a good reflection of the internet age. It's a masterpiece of pop art! Ugly? It's shit ugly! But it's relevant and far more important than any academic religious work you can find in any regular town church.

Thanks so much for clarifying several of these issues. I'd been seeing this woman accused of vandalism and from looking at primary sources I could not see where she had snuck in and intentionally wrecked something, which is what vandalism is. She tried to fix a painting with the church's knowledge and consent. That she did a poor job, aesthetically, is a different matter and a very unfortunate one, but she is not a vandal. The original was also not a work of art as was clearly indicated in the primary sources as well.

I'm sure I will be reprimanded for "screaming" (i.e., offering criticism) but I expect better journalism from the Escapist -- there was little to no fact checking in any of Chalk's articles on this subject, and an obviously skewed representation of what happened. That this clearly biased and poorly researched editorial has been presented as reportage is in my opinion as morally questionable as... well, a church or an individual trying to make money off a messed up art restoration job.

To further clarify the issue, the fresco wasn't "priceless" or particularly valuable at all, beyond local sentimental value. It was, as far as these things go, fairly generic.

The original article (Google translated, as you've probably heard by now) also points out that it's Gimenez "and her family" who brought in the lawyers, suggesting that the woman herself, who was reportedly devastated by her destruction of the painting, is more of a bystander in the whole mess than the driving force behind it. We don't know that either way.

But regardless of the details, it's the principle that I think is what's fascinating here. There's no question that she destroyed something of value; does she have a right to be rewarded for what she created in the process?

I say no. If nothing else, she undertook her "restoration" without permission, so earning anything off it would essentially be enjoying the proceeds of a crime. We don't allow convicted kidnappers and murderers to write books and get rich from inside their prison walls; why would we allow this woman to profit from her vandalism?

The church should charge her with vandalism and sue her for the cost of the original piece of artwork which she destroyed, which would cost... I don't know... maybe two, no three, definitely three hundred thousand dollars, including the cost of anguish it caused to the the church.

Ronack:
Doesn't she need to pay them back for destroying a piece of art like that? And now she's demanding cash? Holy crack, wtf.

That's my thoughts. She destroyed this piece of art with her ignorance. The church was lucky in that it's become such a laughable curiosity people are willing to pay to see it. She should be thankful they didn't have it restored and sue her to recover the cost and leave it at that.

DeathQuaker:
Thanks so much for clarifying several of these issues. I'd been seeing this woman accused of vandalism and from looking at primary sources I could not see where she had snuck in and intentionally wrecked something, which is what vandalism is. She tried to fix a painting with the church's knowledge and consent.

The church has asserted from beginning that she did not have permission. In fact, just prior to the destruction of the painting, the artist's granddaughter made a donation to cover the cost of having it restore professionally.

Mike Kayatta:
There's a large difference between screaming at someone for misreporting a distinction crucial to the story, and screaming at someone for using a contextual synonym just because you happen to be fluent in the source language. More important than any of that, though, is that you don't scream at anyone at all. Please remain civil in our forums.

I don't "happen" to be fluent. It's my bloody MOTHER TONGUE. Born in Spain to a Spanish family, living in Spain my entire life, and my brother buys the goddamn El Correo every stupid single day as it's his newspaper of choice.
English is the other language I'm fluent in, my "second" language.

It's not mandatory donation, they're CHARGING for entry.

This is a great movie script in the making. Oscar runner-up in 2020. I call it.

Bobic:

Nuke_em_05:

Less drastic; if I build a shed on your yard without your permission, do I now have ownership of your yard?

Counterpoint: If you build a shed on my yard, and then lot's of people come to see it, and I charge people for viewing your shed, would you not feel entitled to a portion of my proceeds. I am, in fact, making money off of your work, I did nothing to earn it.

Sure, she accomplished this through stupidity, not talent, but it was still her accomplishment. Without her the church wouldn't be making any of this extra money, it doesn't seem that much of a stretch for her to gain some of it.

No I wouldn't, because I didn't have the right to build the shed in the first place. If I wanted to profit from building a shed, I would build it legitimately.

People paying to see it doesn't change the fact that she had no legitimate claim to it in the first place.

She clearly didn't expect to get compensated for the "restoration" when she thought it would work. Even if she did expect that; she wasn't commissioned, so it wouldn't be owed to her.

You can't just do work for someone without a previous contract and expect to be paid for it.

If I came to your house, mowed your lawn, ran over your bushes, trimmed half off of a tree, and dug a hole; I wouldn't have a legitimate claim to have you pay me for it. Even if it became an oddity and people paid you to see it, I still wouldn't have a legitimate claim.

Edit: subject swap.

Woman Demands Royalties on Destroyed Jesus Fresco

Common Sense on the other hand demands that idiotic woman be launched into the sun.

You can't demand payment for a service you were never commissioned to preform... unless you're the government.

Kargathia:
The new painting is definitely recognised as her work - nobody is disputing that she, in fact, was the one to give the object its new look.
Do remember that courts of law don't deal with loose terms as "she vandalised someone's shit": they call experts, and deal with facts.

Experts provide an opinion on the artistic merit of her paintjob - in this case that would be "absolutely nothing", and the facts would deal with the commercial value of the painting, as any claim for damages would be primarily based on that.

That is where it gets interesting, as she definitely increased the commercial value of the painting, while completely ruining any artistic or historic worth it might have had.

What matters here is that it belonged to someone else, and whether she can claim intellectual property on an act of vandalism. On the whole I suspect you're right, and the suit is going to be thrown out as frivolous.

Please don't condescend, I am not a lawyer but neither are you. Bringing up copyright is not blowing my mind with complicated legal arguments. Though I have no legal training I have served as an attorney's personal assistant for countless hearings and depos. I have perused thousands of legal documents and been paid for it. "She vandalized someone's shit" will do just fine for our purposes here.

It's "work" in the way a robbed bank is "work", not in the way a mowed lawn is "work". I'm just trying to draw a line between this woman's "work" and the kind of thing people reasonably expect to get paid for. This was an act of vandalism, and calling it "work" implies legitimacy. Forgive me but it seems like that's what you're trying to do.

It doesn't matter if she increased the commercial value of the painting. Sense when are people entitled to things on the basis that they increased their commercial value? Can you imagine the chaos if things worked that way? If the owner of the new shopping mall sued everyone in the area for the increase in their land values, and things like that? I don't know anything about the Spanish legal system, but I can't imagine it has anything as crazy as that which would give this woman serious or even legitimate ground to sue. Or anything so crazy as to let her sue other people for what they do with their own things that she vandalized on the basis that she owns the copyright on their stuff that she vandalized. I think even entertaining the notion that this suit might not be laughed out of court is not giving the Spanish enough credit. But who knows, maybe they are batshit insane and love scamming people.

Rooster Cogburn:
Please don't condescend, I am not a lawyer but neither are you. Bringing up copyright is not blowing my mind with complicated legal arguments. Though I have no legal training I have served as an attorney's personal assistant for countless hearings and depos. I have perused thousands of legal documents and been paid for it. "She vandalized someone's shit" will do just fine for our purposes here.

It's "work" in the way a robbed bank is "work", not in the way a mowed lawn is "work". I'm just trying to draw a line between this woman's "work" and the kind of thing people reasonably expect to get paid for. This was an act of vandalism, and calling it "work" implies legitimacy. Forgive me but it seems like that's what you're trying to do.

It doesn't matter if she increased the commercial value of the painting. Sense when are people entitled to things on the basis that they increased their commercial value? Can you imagine the chaos if things worked that way? If the owner of the new shopping mall sued everyone in the area for the increase in their land values, and things like that? I don't know anything about the Spanish legal system, but I can't imagine it has anything as crazy as that which would give this woman serious or even legitimate ground to sue. Or anything so crazy as to let her sue other people for what they do with their own things that she vandalized on the basis that she owns the copyright on their stuff that she vandalized. I think even entertaining the notion that this suit might not be laughed out of court is not giving the Spanish enough credit. But who knows, maybe they are batshit insane and love scamming people.

Any condescension is unintentional. The designation "work" in this case also is nothing more than a neutral way to express that nobody is denying that her actions led to the change in the painting.

Also, I'm not sure why people keep assuming that somehow I think she actually has a chance in court. Maybe I should start exaggerating wildly.

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