At a previous company I worked for there was a VP of Human Resources, let’s call her “Kathy” who always warned me that “no good deed goes unpunished.” This bothered me that someone had this outlook and worse, that I was supposed to listed to this advice and change my disposition on people in general. I recently read an article of how an elderly woman in Spain, trying to do well, gained overnight notoriety for her restoration of a piece of art in her local church. This was a warning that should have been heeded by Ceilia Gimenez of Borja, Spain. Was Kathy right after all? After reading this article, maybe no good dead goes unpunished.
Mrs. Gimenez was a long time lover of the mural located in here church. Dubbed “Ecce Mono”, the mural was slowly being destroyed by moisture and other environmental factors. Working hard to save the mural, Mrs. Gimenez picked up her brush and tried to restore the painting. Overnight, a social phenomenon occurred as viewers saw the before and after as seen on the left.
Ecce Homo, or “behold the man”, quickly became known as “behold the monkey.” As soon as I read this article in the British newspaper, The Telegraph I instantly felt terrible for this lady, who, at the end of the day, was trying to do right. Restore a beautiful painting of Christ. Oh how things can quickly turn!
As the story continued to unfold another old saying my mother taught me came to mind and that’s that you should always try to turn lemons into lemonade. Typical of the times we are in, viral media, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter took over. Almost overnight people wanted to come and see the painting. They wanted to see this botched restoration in person and over 70,000 visited the painting. Charging visitors to see this has raised over $70,000 for a local charity and more is on the way as T-shirts, lighters, and cell phone covers are covered with Ecce Monkey.
Surprisingly lucrative, more and more money is being raised. Not only are local charities being supported, as reported in the Daily News, visitors continue to pay to see the botched restoration. Now, there is even enough money to have the mural restored properly. What a great ending!
So now Kathy, one for you to learn. Does a good deed go unpunished? You decide.