Cecilia Gimenez, who is in her 80s, was reportedly upset at the way the fresco had deteriorated and took it on herself to “restore” the image.
She claimed to have had the permission of the priest to carry out the job.
“(The) priest knew it! He did! How could you do something like that without permission? He knew it!”
BBC Europe correspondent Christian Fraser says the delicate brush strokes of Elias Garcia Martinez have been buried under a haphazard splattering of paint.
Story: BBC News | Photo: Centro De Estudios Borjanos