BORJA, Spain (CBS) -- A nineteenth-century piece of artwork has been destroyed after an octogenarian amateur art restorer decided it was deteriorating, and she could fix it.
Spanish news EFE reported that Cecilia Jimenez, a resident of the Spanish north eastern town of Borja, entered into the church where the fresco of Christ was exhibited and decided "of her own accord and at her own risk" to repair the work. She later confessed to the damage she had caused, but told state television TVE she had been given permission by the church's priest to fix it.
"The priest knew! He did! How could we do something like that without permission? He knew," Jimenez said, adding that nobody stopped her when they saw she was working on the art piece.
"Everybody who came into the church could see me as I was painting. I didn't do anything secretly."
The fresco titled the "Ecce Homo", painted by famous Spanish artist Elias Garcia Martinez, was donated to the Centro de Estudios Borjanos in Borja by the painter's granddaughter, Teresa Garcia.
Garcia feels the piece has now been destroyed. "Until now she just painted on the tunic but the problem started when she painted the head as well, because she has destroyed this painting," she said.
Although the painting is reported to have little economic value, the city of Borja is sentimentally attached to it.
The Culture Councilor of the town's city hall, Juan Jose Ojeda said a group of art experts will be hired in an attempt to save the painting.
''Some professional restorers will visit us soon - people who have worked previously in this museum - and they will assess the painting and give us advice and guidance on how to manage the damage to the painting,'' he said.
The council told EFE that the restorers, who are expected to arrive on Monday (August 27), will have a tough task, given the painting was done in oils directly onto the wall of the church.