We admit that legal mumbo-jumbo is not our favorite reading genre. But an article in The National Law Journal seems to suggest that the now-closed Christus Gardens may have been at least partly pushed into the afterlife by a souvenir in its gift shop.
The collectible in question was a miniature plastic version of what Christus Gardens called “the famous Carrara Marble Face,” a mysterious carving of a six-ton, grinning Jesus with eyes that follow you — the centerpiece of the attraction.
The Law Journal reports that Christus Gardens was sued for $100,000 for copyright infringement after it began selling Face replicas in its gift shop — and it lost the case. The suit was brought by the owners of the sculpture, who called it “Miracle Face.” It’s a little confusing, as Christus Gardens had always said that it had found the Face in a warehouse in Italy in 1960. Evidently the Face was still owned by someone other than the attraction.
When we visited Christus Gardens late last year, the gift shop was full of Miracle Faces — piles of them — all for sale at half-price. Clueless, we bought only one. Now we wish that we had filled our trunk.