An interesting legal issue is here. Can you copyright a stolen or otherwise illegal work? Should you financially benefit from a felonious act of vandalism, and senile bad judgement?
This seems like an opportunity for the legal owner of the vandalized work to recoup some of their lost assets. It seem intuitive to me that the true owner of the original painting should get all benefit and rights that can be salvaged from the situation.
that's insane. first off no security lets the lady do what she wants. still not sure why she painted over the face since it wasn't really damaged. the church charging admission. now she wants money, nice. i suppose she could copyright the image, but it's a little late now, and it was never her image. and she should be sued, however it will be mixed up in court considering the amount of money the church is making from it. makes it kind of confusing. i still wonder if she thinks she's an artist.
Best of luck to her I say, wish I'd thought of it. Surely the Church who lost no time exploiting the situation could pay her a royalty fee for her trouble, they are after all one of the richest institutions on the planet.