MADRID – Three years after a botched fresco restoration by an octogenarian painter became a major tourist attraction for the Spanish town of Borja, local officials are looking to capitalize on the phenomenon with an information center that documents the fresco’s notoriety and aims to attract more visitors.
Borja Mayor Eduardo Arilla said some 160,000 people had come to see the fresco since Cecilia Gimenez’s restoration of a Christ fresco in a town sanctuary went viral in 2012. He said with the new center, they hoped to draw some 30,000 visitors annually.
Arilla said the aim is to give the painting “a new impulse.” He said Gimenez, 85, will be at the inauguration Wednesday. The center brings together newspaper clippings, photographs and videos documenting the fresco’s story.