Beast Jesus Meme: Botched Restoration Sparks Worldwide Interest

by Bill Davenport August 31, 2012

Cecilia Gimenez’s amateur restoration of a century old fresco at the Sanctuary of Mercy Church in Borja, Spain has legs. Even before Spanish authorities decide whether or not to prosecute the 80 year old parishioner for bad painting, news media and the internet have seized the “beast Jesus” meme- generating an outpouring of articles, a Pinterest gallery of 1500 mostly witless reinterpretations of the image, and a contest! Tourists are pouring into the obscure church to visit the new icon, and a petition is circulating to leave it as-is. Meanwhile, Atlanta’s Walker Art Center is hosting a film festival of internet cat videos.

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