Artist sues for royalties as church cashes in on image
on 21/09/2012 00:00:00
The before and after pictures went viral across the globe and tourists began arriving in droves.
The story blew up on social networks and put the northern Spanish town of Borja and its population of about 30,000 at the centre of an international joke.
Gimenez said she suffered from anxiety attacks, according to El Correo, and sought privacy. With upcoming litigation though, she "apparently recovered from the anxiety she initially experienced and is now looking to get paid", the website Gawker said.
The Sanctuary of Mercy's owners, the Santi Spiritus Hospital Foundation, reportedly made €2,000 in just four days from visitors wanting to see Ecce Mono, or Behold the Monkey as it's now called.
The church has hired lawyers of its own to protect its revenue.
Town officials have planned to undo Gimenez's work, but almost 18,000 people have signed an online petition to preserve the post-restoration painting, according to AFP news agency.
Lawyers for Gimenez say she may seek to copyright the restored image.
The online popularity led to a steady stream of curious visitors to the Borja sanctuary that houses the disfigured mural where a €1 admission is being now charged.