Saturday, September 22, 2012

Botched Spanish Fresco becomes international sensation


Botched Spanish Fresco Becomes International Sensation


"It turned a small church in Spain into an international laughing stock: a badly restored fresco of Jesus Christ that ended up looking like strange-looking monkey. But the awful work of art also did something else: it turned the Misericordia church into a tourist attraction, with hundreds of tourists flocking to Boria, a small town in Spain, to see an artwork gone wrong. And the church has even tried to cash in on its new-found infamy - it charges visitors 1-Euro to see the botched painting. The distorted image then began appearing on T-shirts and cellphone covers, coffee mugs and wine labels. It became an icon used to sell products around the world."

"Ecce Homo (Behold the Man), completed in 1930, made headlines last month after Gimenez, a parishioner of the church, decided to restore it to her former glory. The 80-year-old parishioner instead turned the fresco of Christ wearing a crown of thorns into a disfigured, overweight she-man with a double chin and no beard."

Now she has hired lawyers to see if there is copyright infringement on "her" work. "If she has rights, said lawyer Antonio Val Carreras Rivera, Gimenez could pursue payments from those using the image to sell products, although whatever she earns would go to charity."

Call me skeptical, but if she wanted the money to go to charity she could refrain from hiring lawyers and do without the entire legal brouhaha altogether and let the church simply donate directly from what they take in.

This is the kind of thing I'd mentioned last night about people going C-R-A-Z-Y. The human behaviors of sacrifice, humility and others-centeredness has turned into 'I want to make a buck and I'll run over the next guy to do it. I have rights ya know!'

Paul warned Timothy that in the last days there would be godlessness. When a society is without God there is a demonstrable decline in human behavior. That is just how it is. Jesus said so in Matthew 24:12, "Because lawlessness is increased, most people's love will grow cold." It is a causal relationship. The word lawlessness in Greek means both illegal, and sinful behavior.

Godlessness in the Last Days

"But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people."

Paul said "Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others." (Philippians 2:4). In lauding Timothy, Paul said of others, "For they all seek their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ." (Philippians 2:21). The Pharisees loved money. After they heard Jesus tell the parable of the dishonest manager, they sneered at Him, and the verse in Luke 16:14 directly says they sneered because they loved money.

Instead of being grateful for the unexpected windfall, instead of using the attention to talk of charitable needs in the community, instead of simply pointing to Christ and sharing the Gospel, the issue has become a fight over personal rights and money.

The fresco fight reminded me of the times, because it is prophesied we will be constantly tempted to act in our own interests. We need to always put Christ first. He came to serve, not to be served. (Matthew 20:28). I need to remind myself of that frequently, so I am not making myself an exception in this post. If we are slaves in Christ, and we are, (1 Corinthians 7:22) we have no rights- except the privilege to fulfill what He gives us to do. This is loving others, even our enemies, humility in thought and deed, and selfless service.

1 comment:

  1. Speaking of "Godlessness in the last days..." This "Folsom Street Fair" is so disturbing and very sad, especially since it is on the SF City "Event" calendar...

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