They called the painting “The Mike,” because legend had it that it was an original Michelangelo painting—but the Kober family didn’t really believe it. When their kids knocked it off the wall with a tennis ball, they wrapped it up and stashed it behind the couch, and left it there for 27 years. But now, after all this time, they’ve gotten an expert opinion, and the news is good—really good.
An Italian art restorer and historian has certified the painting as genuine, the Daily Mail reports, and it could be worth up to $300 million. “I had assumed it was going to be a copy,” he says. But X-ray analysis showed that the artist changed portions of the painting midway through and left one small portion unfinished, nearly ironclad proof of authenticity. “No patron pays in the Renaissance for an unfinished copy. In reality, this painting was even more beautiful than the versions hanging in Rome."