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Dublin: 20 °C Thursday 18 July, 2019
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Sopranos actor discovers long-lost artwork worth millions

He paid $140,000 at auction for the painting, which turned out to be by Italian artist Guercino. Handy.

Image: ©Steven Bergman

AN ACTOR FROM hit TV show The Sopranos has discovered a long-lost Italian artwork that could be worth millions.

Federico Castelluccio, who played hitman Furio in the series, discovered the 17th-century painting at a Frankfurt art dealership.

The actor said the piece was mistakenly labelled “18th-century Italian holy painting of Saint Sebastian” and the dealers “had no idea” who painted it.

According to the New York Post, the actor bought the picture at auction and had it authenticated using infrared reflectography (which looks through layers of paint), X-rays and chemical testing.

As it turns out, it is a long-lost masterpiece by the Italian painter Guercino, whose works are on display in museums in Warsaw, Rome and Los Angeles.

The painting depicts the Christian martyr Saint Sebastian pierced with arrows and is believed to have been completed circa 1632-1634.

Castelluccio spent several years restoring the painting to its former glory, spending around $140,000 on it in total – now, the work could reach millions of dollars at auction.

The actor is now planning on writing a book about the painting’s journey, as well as how he developed his passion for art as a child growing up in New Jersey.

Not a bad investment, eh Fed?

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