• 08.29.12

Restore Your Own “Ecce Homo” With “The Cecilia Prize”

The botched fresco restoration heard ’round the world gets the DIY treatment.

Painter Elias Garcia Martinez’s “Ecce Homo” fresco had been a point of pride for the Sanctuary of Mercy Church near Zaragoza, Spain, for more than 100 years. That is, until an elderly woman with good intentions and very little artistry took it upon herself to “restore” the fading, cracked work. Now that the story of amateur art restorer Cecilia Gimenez’s (paint)brush with infamy has spread far and wide, there was only one thing that could happen: It had to become a meme.


Much the same way they did with #dangleboris recently, a group of creatives within advertising agency BBH London tackled the buzzed-about art event with an interactive salute–this time called The Cecilia Prize. Seeing as how Gimenez was only doing in the real world what most Photoshop-savvy meme-perpetrators do digitally, there’s a certain poetic justice in the website, a hub for posting artwork by all the other amateur art restorers out there who want to get in on the Ecce action.

Users need only tweet their creation with the hashtag #ceciliaprize to see it featured on the site’s Pinterest gallery, rubbing frescoed shoulders with the likes of Scarface Jesus, Homer Simpson Jesus, and Pikachu Jesus. Have a look at some other favorites in the slideshow above.

About the author

Joe Berkowitz is a writer and staff editor at Fast Company. His next book, Away with Words, is available June 13th from Harper Perennial.