Woman Demands Royalties on Destroyed Jesus Fresco

Andy Chalk

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Nov 12, 2002
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Woman Demands Royalties on Destroyed Jesus Fresco


The Spanish woman who destroyed a 19th-centry fresco of Jesus while "restoring" it now wants a cut of the cash it's bringing in.

You may not recognize Cecilia Gimenez's name, but you'll almost certainly know her work: She's the little old lady from Spain who turned a century-old image of Jesus into a crude drawing of a fat Sasquatch [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/119195-Helpful-Old-Lady-Ruins-200-Year-Old-Portrait]. The reaction to the destruction cleaved fairly evenly between appalled and amused, but as the story spread, the response to her work grew increasingly generous. Memes were generated and some people even expressed appreciation for the "new" image on its own merits; thousands of "ironic art fans" signed a petition calling for the restoration to be left as-is.

It turns out that the church in which the fresco is displayed may have a more practical reason than simple irony to leave it in its "restored" condition. 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.

It's a great windfall for the church, but Gimenez and her family are none too happy about the situation. They believe that since she did the work, she should get a cut of the action, so they've hired lawyers to demand royalties. The church has turned the matter over to its own lawyers, which is where things currently stand.

It's pretty greasy, but also fascinating. The church and the town of Zaragoza have both taken steps to capitalize on the portrait's surprise fame, and the economic impact has been, relatively speaking, not inconsequential. Gimenez is responsible for it, and yet all she did was destroy an old painting. The idea of claiming destruction as a form of creation is interesting (and a bit mind-boggling), but I think the truth is likely a lot simpler: greed, capitalizing on a spot of big, blind luck. A bit sad, but not terribly surprising.

Source: Techdirt [http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=es&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.elcorreo.com%2Fvizcaya%2Fv%2F20120919%2Fcultura%2Fcecilia-exige-ahora-derechos-20120919.html]


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Kyrinn

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May 10, 2011
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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).
 

Fappy

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People shouldn't be rewarded for stupidity. Period.

She doesn't deserve a dime from any donations associated with this.
 

Andy Chalk

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Nov 12, 2002
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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.
 

Scarim Coral

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So being infamous for ruining that painting was not enough for her and want some of the cash for doing it so? Technically wouldn't the credit should go to the original painter, not the ruiner? (WEll probably not but still she shouldn't be credit making that painting worse.)
 

MASTACHIEFPWN

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Mar 27, 2010
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Wow. She does realize she destroyed a beautiful piece of art, right?
I'm not christian, but I have to say I enjoy art, and art like that is a piece of history, that she just kurfuckled all over.
She should be fined for what she did. Not rewarded.
 

Woodsey

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Clearly she's got a big, swinging set of balls - you've got to give her that, at least.
 
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She is really pushing it. People are donating to the church, not to her (it doesn't say what they are going to use the money for, but I assume the usual charities), and not to restore the painting.

In any case, she has no right to the painting or anything related to it. Just because she painted over something, it doesn't give her any sort of ownership. Bad form, Mrs. Gimenez.

EDIT: I reread the original stories, and it seems she just took the painting to 'restore'; she didn't even ask for permission. So that makes her a thief, even if the Church decided not to press charges. So she is asking for money, which is not donated to anything but the church, because she she stole and ruined a painting.
 

BaronIveagh

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What really makes this sad is that the more money people throw at this, the less likely it is that the painting will be restored.
 

Furioso

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I think she should get a cut, seriously.... and then slap her with a a fine to the tune of whatever the painting was worth before it was destroyed
 

Andy Chalk

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You gotta hand it to this woman: she keeps finding ways to make this situation even uglier.
 

Rauten

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Apr 4, 2010
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This translation is all wrong and fsked up.

From the original "El Correo" article:

Porque la Fundación Hospital Santi Spiritus, propietaria del santuario donde está colocada la pintura, decidió cobrar desde el pasado sábado por acceder al templo. Los ingresos en apenas cuatro días suman ya 2.000 euros y ella quiere su parte.
Which would translate to:

Code:
 Because the Foundation "Hospital Santi Spiritus", proprietor of the sanctuary that houses the painting, decided to CHARGE for access to the temple since this past saturday. Earnings in barely four days are already at 2.000 euros, and she wants her share.
Also, from the original article:

La iglesia había optado por poner una urna para que los curiosos dejaran su voluntad. Sin embargo, los turistas no se rascaban el bolsillo. "De veinte personas que entraban sólo echaba una, así que han decidido poner entrada."
Which translates to:

Code:
 The church decided to place a donation box for those curious to see the painting to leave whatever they'd will. However, the tourists just didn't scratch their pockets. "Out of twenty people only one donated, so it's been decided to charge for entry".
Please, next time you're going to report on something translated, GET A PROPER GODDAMN TRANSLATION, not Google Translation. She's not demanding her share of donations, she's asking for her share of the entry price.
 

Scorpid

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Jul 24, 2011
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Yeah you can really start petition for anything on the internet and get at least a thousand signatures... stop the restoration of a painting so we can always see the no chin Sasquatch...JEEZ people don't you have better things to do then but your heads into art restoration.
Regarding the lady's claim though I wonder where it stands. I mean if I recall she essentially stole the painting to "restore" it, so I'm curious why she even has case that'll be entertained.
 

Scars Unseen

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May 7, 2009
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I guess my stance on this is a bit controversial, though I don't know why. Yes, she should get a cut. Why? Because the people running the church decided that it has value. If they had done nothing but condemn the act and try to raise money for the painting's restoration, then this wouldn't be an issue. Instead, the church decided that this incident was something to be capitalized on, and the lady should get royalties for that same as any "artist" would if their "art" was being used for profit.

It's an abomination or it's an asset. Can't have it both ways.
 

Andy Chalk

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Nov 12, 2002
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Scars Unseen said:
I guess my stance on this is a bit controversial, though I don't know why. Yes, she should get a cut. Why? Because the people running the church decided that it has value. If they had done nothing but condemn the act and try to raise money for the painting's restoration, then this wouldn't be an issue. Instead, the church decided that this incident was something to be capitalized on, and the lady should get royalties for that same as any "artist" would if their "art" was being used for profit.

It's an abomination or it's an asset. Can't have it both ways.
Technically, you can have it both ways, as someone on the facebook feed pointed out.

First, value the fresco she destroyed. Then she gets a cut, but her cut goes to pay for the fresco she destroyed. That should pretty much guarantee that she doesn't get a cent.
 

Andy Chalk

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Nov 12, 2002
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I like how she turned a painting of Jesus in a fat howler monkey and demands donation money for it.

Humanity at work.
 

Scars Unseen

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May 7, 2009
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Friv said:
Scars Unseen said:
I guess my stance on this is a bit controversial, though I don't know why. Yes, she should get a cut. Why? Because the people running the church decided that it has value. If they had done nothing but condemn the act and try to raise money for the painting's restoration, then this wouldn't be an issue. Instead, the church decided that this incident was something to be capitalized on, and the lady should get royalties for that same as any "artist" would if their "art" was being used for profit.

It's an abomination or it's an asset. Can't have it both ways.
Technically, you can have it both ways, as someone on the facebook feed pointed out.

First, value the fresco she destroyed. Then she gets a cut, but her cut goes to pay for the fresco she destroyed. That should pretty much guarantee that she doesn't get a cent.
That would probably only be a valid stance if the church could prove intent to restore the original. My suspicion is that this is not the case, and the church is planning on the money going into the church's general funds. In which case it is hard to make the case that she destroyed anything, as the church has obviously decided that the "restoration" has positive value over the original.
 

Nuke_em_05

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Mar 30, 2009
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Rauten said:
This translation is all wrong and fsked up.

From the original "El Correo" article:

Porque la Fundación Hospital Santi Spiritus, propietaria del santuario donde está colocada la pintura, decidió cobrar desde el pasado sábado por acceder al templo. Los ingresos en apenas cuatro días suman ya 2.000 euros y ella quiere su parte.
Which would translate to:

Code:
 Because the Foundation "Hospital Santi Spiritus", proprietor of the sanctuary that houses the painting, decided to CHARGE for access to the temple since this past saturday. Earnings in barely four days are already at 2.000 euros, and she wants her share.
Also, from the original article:

La iglesia había optado por poner una urna para que los curiosos dejaran su voluntad. Sin embargo, los turistas no se rascaban el bolsillo. "De veinte personas que entraban sólo echaba una, así que han decidido poner entrada."
Which translates to:

Code:
 The church decided to place a donation box for those curious to see the painting to leave whatever they'd will. However, the tourists just didn't scratch their pockets. "Out of twenty people only one donated, so it's been decided to charge for entry".
Please, next time you're going to report on something translated, GET A PROPER GODDAMN TRANSLATION, not Google Translation. She's not demanding her share of donations, she's asking for her share of the entry price.
So... actually this. My Spanish isn't as sharp as it once was, but that's what I read.

Even so, however, she has no claim to any of it, in my opinion. It was vandalism. She wasn't sanctioned to "restore" it, so she has no right to it.

If art gains value when the artist dies, do I get the extra revenue if I kill an artist?

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

I wonder if she would have been so willing to take responsibility for it if they were demanding payment to actually restore it?