A painting of Christ that has graced the wall of a Spanish church for more than 120 years has been destroyed by a pensioner who attempted to restore it.
The surface of the "Ecce Homo" (Latin for "behold the man") in the Santuario de Misericodia Church in the village of Borja, near Zaragoza, had deteriorated due to the moisture in the church, causing parts of the painting to flake off, the Telegraph reported.
A woman in her 80s, upset at the worsening state of the image painted by Elias Garcia Martinez, took it upon herself to bring the artwork back to its former glory.
But the results were devastating. The original face has been almost completely painted over, transformed beyond recognition. It now appears to be a childlike painting of Jesus' face, made by broad brush strokes.
"Unfortunately a local resident with very good intentions decided without consulting anyone that she would restore the fresco," Javier Silvestre, the councillor of Culture at Borja town hall, told the Telegraph.
"The result is disastrous and we are consulting experts to see what can be done."
At first the church thought the painting had been vandalised as the woman completed her work without anyone noticing.
It was only discovered when Martinez's granddaughter made a donation towards its upkeep and an expert was sent out to examine it.
A panel of art historians will meet at the church next week to consider the problem, and the Centro de Estudios Borjanos, an organisation responsible for the preservation of artistic heritage, has called for a full investigation into how this was allowed to happen.
Relatives of the artist are considering legal action against the amateur restorer.