Rhesus Christ painter sues church

Remember the news item about Cecilia Giménez, an 85-year old parishioner who took it upon herself to restore a faded mural of Jesus in a church and turned it into something that looked like a monkey that then became known as ‘Rhesus Christ’?

Initially the story focused on the remorse felt by the woman and the attempts by the church to try and correct the well-meant error. But it turns out that Rhesus Christ has become a tourist attraction. The church started charging visitors a fee to see what has also been called Behold the Monkey, and Gimenez feels that it is profiting unfairly from her artistic efforts. She is now suing the church to get a cut of the proceeds.

It is a tricky issue to judge who has the merits of this case and one can only ask, “What Would Rhesus Do?”


  1. F says

    Always with this sort of business model. Look: Keep doing your unique style of art restoration, preferably on pieces you own, then sell prints or charge admission yourself.

  2. jamessweet says

    Funny how quickly people’s priorities change when CA$H enters the picture… now, all parties’ primary concern is, “Show me the monkey! — er, um money.”

  3. busterggi says

    Some folks would go bananas over this.

    I’d go ape.

    They’ll pay her chimp change.

    Que sera, sera, whatever mangabey will mangabey.

    I got a million of ’em and they’re all bad

  4. Jared A says

    I said it before and I’ll say it again. Her restoration is amazing and far exceeds the original in artistic value. I would pay to see an exhibition of hers transforming other kitschy christian art into Conradesque horrors.

  5. Keljopy says

    Great, figure out a reasonable monetary value of what the mural would have been worth before she “restored” it and once her “cut” of the proceeds exceeds what she should owe (plus interest) start paying her.

  6. Anonymous Atheist says

    LOL. This just keeps getting ‘better’.

    When you paint something on a wall inside someone else’s building, I’d think you’re giving the building’s owners permission to do what they want with it. Particularly when it was something they didn’t even want originally.

  7. Susie says

    Yep – she’s going to hell – first she defaces Jesus, then she sues the church. Doesn’t she know she’s messing with the big guy (wink wink)

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