A graffiti artist is recreating the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in a rundown building in Iowa. Paco Rosic and his family have spent their life savings, and his parents have taken out a second mortgage, to pay for the project.

First, they spent £35,000 on buying a dilapidated former antiques store in Waterloo, Iowa.

Then they hired workers to tear down the old ceiling and create a new one that is gently arched, like the Sistine Chapel.

To prepare, Mr Rosic travelled to Rome and spent four days in the Sistine Chapel, and then practiced painting sections of it upside down in his garage at home.

He has since spent four months – and nearly £5,000 on spray paint cans – on his back on scaffolding to paint a nearly half-scale replica of Michelangelo’s fresco.

"My friends thought I was crazy," said Mr Rosic, 27, a Bosnian immigrant. "So did my family. But this has been something I’ve wanted to do since I was a child."

The family are converting the building into a cafe and jazz club and hope the fresco will pay for itself by helping to attract customers.

Artwork by Paco Rosic: