Tens of thousands of tourists have made the journey to the unremarkable town in rural Aragon, paying an entrance charge at the church to stand in front of the mural and laugh at Mrs Giménez’s handiwork. Now, in her first interview with a British newspaper, the DIY restorer has told The Daily Telegraph how she wished she could turn back the clock. “I never would have attempted it if I knew it would lead to this,” the sprightly octogenarian said, remorsefully, at her home on the corner of Plaza San Francisco in the centre of Borja…

“I was only trying to do a good thing, I wanted to return it to its former glory. But very quickly it started to go wrong, the paint absorbed into the damp. It got out of control.”…

The town, like the rest of Spain suffering economic crisis and high unemployment, has enjoyed boom months since “Ecce Mono” went viral.

“We’ve had hordes of people – 35,000 from August to December – coming to the town just to see the painting,” he laughed.

“They pay a €1 (80p) entrance fee and stay overnight and eat in local restaurants. That painting isn’t making anyone rich, but it’s keeping businesses in this town from closing.