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Lost £80million Caravaggio 'masterpiece' found in man's attic after he went to repair leaky roof

Mirror Mirror 12/04/2016 By Jane Lavender

A man has discovered what may be an £80million masterpiece by Italian painter Caravaggio in his attic - after going up there to repair a leaky roof.

The home owner in Toulouse, France found the artwork while exploring the source of water dripping into their house.

An initial examination by art experts suggested it could be one of two versions of Caravaggio's biblical scene Judith Beheading Holofernes, painted in around 1600.

One of the versions is on display at the National Gallery of Ancient Art in Rome, while the other disappeared around a century after it was completed.

© Provided by Mirror If the newly-discovered oil painting is genuine, it is estimated to be worth at least 80 million pounds, French daily Le Figaro said.

The Louvre museum in Paris is now examining the painting, but it could take up to year to establish if it is genuine, a museum spokesman said.

Meanwhile, the French ministry of culture has classed the painting as a National Treasure to ensure that it can not be exported for 30 months while experts can determine its authenticity.

If genuine, the French state has first refusal to buy the artwork before it can be sold anywhere else.

© Provided by Mirror Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio was an Italian painter working in the late 16 and early 17th centuries.

He was famous while he lived, but forgotten almost immediately after his death in 1610 and it was only in the 20th century that his importance was rediscovered.

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