After 23 years of losing his temper, a page once stolen was found inside the walls of an Italian art gallery.
The painting was found by a gardener in December. While clearing ivy from the walls of the Ricci Oddi Modern Art Gallery in Piacenza, northern Italy, the gardener saw this painting lying in a bag, hidden in a hole in the wall.
The portrait was allegedly stolen when the gallery was renovated in February 1997.
“It’s with no small emotion that I can tell you the work is authentic,” the Piacenza prosecutor Ornella Chicca told reporters at a news conference.
A painting of a young woman glancing over her shoulder against a dreamy blue background.
During the announcement, it was displayed on an easel and flanked by two police officers.
Italian prosecutors said Portrait of a Lady was the later work of art master Klimt, who painted it from 1916 to 1917.
There had been widespread optimism in Italian art circles that the gardener’s discovery would turn out to be the missing Klimt.
Italy’s Piacenza Sera quoted gallery officials as saying the back of the canvas bore stamps that were put on when the painting was on loan.
Currently, this piece of art is kept in a vault of a local branch of the Italian central bank.