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Comic opera based on "Potato Jesus" scheduled for 2017

by Hannah Tooley

'Behold the Man' will tell the story of the famous painting, being dubbed 'Potato Jesus', and launches in 2017.

It became well-known after a Spanish woman in her 80's tried to restore a fifth century fresco of Jesus painting.

The small town of Borja, located in Zaragoza, Spain is home to the beloved "Ecce Homo", meaning "Beyond the Man" located in Sanctuary of Mercy Church.

After years of moisture damage, the fresco began to peel and paint flaked off the wall.

Local resident Cecilia Gimenez tried to repair the painting after allegedly getting permission from the church's priest.

According to i news, the amateur painter is now being credited with helping to attract thousands of tourists to Borja, which is boosting the local economy.

Two Americans, Andrew Flack and Paul Fowler are behind the opera which tells of the story of the transformation of the painting and how it saved Borja.

The opera website writes: "When a photo of her botched restoration goes viral, tourists from the world over arrive-mysteriously drawn to her efforts-helping revitalize the economy of the struggling town. Was it a miracle? Great outsider art? A selfless act of faith? Or just another internet meme?"

The opera is being financed by crowdfunding and a shortened 45 minute person of it was performed on Saturday 20th August - four years since the original attempt at restoration.

A full-length production of 'Behold the Man' will launch next year to mark the fifth anniversary of the transformation of the historic fresco.

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