CECILIA has had a dream in which the Lord urges her to restore the Ecce Homo fresco on the wall of her church. Her sister BEATRIZ is concerned she may not have the skill, permission, nor eyesight.
The MAYOR addresses the townspeople about the economic crisis and the need to bolster tourism. MARCOS off-handedly informs the gathering he will commission the restoration of the Ecce Homo as a gift for his wife on their anniversary—the fresco painted by her grandfather. Alcalde latches onto the idea as an engine for tourism but no one else shares his optimism. Marcos gives OLD PRIEST the money to pay for the restoration.
Old Priest reveals the fresco has little artistic value and he may cut corners in selecting a restorer. Cecilia informs him of her plans. Old Priest makes her swear that if she proceeds, she must never divulge it was her work.
Marcos laments his struggling hotel’s imminent demise. He is ashamed at his inability to repay his mother, Cecilia, for the start-up cash.
ARTIST MARTÍNEZ, the ghost of the original painter, introduces the audience to his hat shop and reminisces on his holidays in Borja. The young lovers, SILVIA and ARTURO, open the shop and rue their tough luck amidst the recession.
ADRIANA makes her grand entrance, she has been diagnosed with “affluenza,” a most serious disease of having too much money. Marcos tells her of his gift, she is nonplussed, except to say she’ll be happy to see her grandfather’s fresco restored—as long as it’s not the work of his mother (Cecilia).
Cecilia begins the restoration of the “Ecce Homo” as a concerned Artist Martinez looks on. At the curtain, the fresco is undergoing a great transformation.