“An elderly woman stepped forward this week to claim responsibility for disfiguring a century-old “ecce homo” fresco of Jesus crowned with thorns, in Santuario de la Misericordia, a Roman Catholic church in Borja, near the city of Zaragoza.
Ecce homo, or behold the man, refers to an artistic motif that depicts Jesus, usually bound and with a crown of thorns, right before his crucifixion.
The woman, Cecilia Giménez, who is in her 80s, said on Spanish national television that she had tried to restore the fresco, which she called her favorite local representation of Jesus, because she was upset that parts of it had flaked off due to moisture on the church’s walls.
The authorities in Borja said they had suspected vandalism at first, but then determined that the shocking alterations had been made by an elderly parishioner. The authorities said she had acted on her own.
But Ms. Giménez later defended herself, saying she could not understand the uproar because she had worked in broad daylight and had tried to salvage the fresco with the approval of the local clergy. “The priest knew it,” she told Spanish television. “I’ve never tried to do anything hidden.”
Ms. Giménez said she had worked on the fresco using a 10-year-old picture of it, but she eventually left Jesus with a half-beard and, some say, a monkeylike appearance. The fresco’s botched restoration came to light this month when descendants of the 19th-century artist, Elías García Martínez, proposed making a donation toward its upkeep.
News of the disfiguring prompted Twitter users and bloggers to post parodies online inserting Ms. Giménez’s version of the fresco into other artworks. Some played on the simian appearance of the portrait.” (NYTimes)
“It’s officially official now, what with the Paul Ryan Veep nod: the Republican Party is in the grips of a long-dead, fanatically anti-Christian cult leader. At a certain point, you realize, of course, that the far-right religious cultural warriors are going to be obliged to turn on the libertarian-types. Their common ground ain’t as common as it used to be! And it’s going to be really fun to watch.” (Dangerous Minds)
“GOP leaders and conservative pundits have brought upon themselves a crisis of values. Many who for years have been the loudest voices invoking the language of faith and moral values are now praising the atheist philosopher Ayn Rand whose teachings stand in direct contradiction to the Bible. Rand advocates a law of selfishness over love and commands her followers to think only of themselves, not others. She said her followers had to choose between Jesus and her teachings.
GOP leaders want to argue that they are defending Christian principles. But, at the same time, Rep. Paul Ryan (author of the GOP budget) is posting facebook videos praising Rand’s morality and saying hers is the “kind of thinking that is sorely needed right now.” Simply put, Paul Ryan can’t have it both ways, and neither can Christians. As conservative evangelical icon Chuck Colson recently stated, Christians can not support Rand’s philosophy and Christ’s teachings. The choice is simple: Ayn Rand or Jesus Christ. We must choose one and forsake the other.” (American Values Network)
“…I am asking you and the GOP to get out of my body, out of my vagina, my womb, to get out of all of our bodies. These are not your decisions to make. These are not your words to define.
Why don’t you spend your time ending rape rather than redefining it? Spend your energy going after those perpetrators who so easily destroy women rather than parsing out manipulative language that minimizes their destruction.
And by the way you’ve just given millions of women a very good reason to make sure you never get elected again, and an insanely good reason to rise….” (Read the whole thing: Huffington Post)
“Kanzi the bonobo continues to impress. Not content with learning sign language or making up “words” for things like banana or juice, he now seems capable of making stone tools on a par with the efforts of early humans.” (New Scientist)
Twitter / jbendery (via Steve)