A 19th-century fresco of Christ, horribly disfigured in a botched restoration effort, is now attracting crowds of tourists to a small Spanish town.

Cecilia Jimenez, who had restored the paintings in the old church for years, said the priest gave her permission to restore Ecce Homo by Elias Garcia Martinez.

The painting, a sophisticated depiction of Jesus with the crown of thorns around his head, has been transformed into an amateurish, almost cartoon-like portrait.

During the past week, images of the botched work were beamed around the world and now, the Santuario de Misericodia church in Borja, near Zaragoza in northeastern Spain, is a magnet for curiosity seekers.

The artwork is said to have little artistic importance but does have some local sentimental value.