Painting discovered in leaky French attic could be lost masterpiece worth $136 million

Posted at 10:39 AM, Apr 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-13 17:45:10-04


A painting found by accident in a house in France’s Toulouse region has been listed as a French national treasure and could be worth $136 million, French art expert Eric Turquin told CNN in an emailed statement.

“The rediscovery of an original masterpiece by Caravaggio is a great event,” he said. The painting “should be considered by far the most important canvas recovered in the last twenty years, from one of the geniuses.”

One of the art world’s greatest-ever finds resulted from the desire of some French homeowners to fix a leaky roof.

The 400-year-old work, was found by accident in 2014 in an attic of a Toulouse house, is thought to have been painted by Italian master Caravaggio, according to Old Masters expert Eric Turquin, who has been studying it for the past two years.

The painting, “Judith Beheading Holofernes,” represents the biblical figure decapitating Holofernes, an Assyrian general. In the story, Judith went in supplication to the general’s tent while his forces besieged her city, then beheaded him.