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'Imitation' Botticelli painting revealed to be real

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on March 28, 2019 - Duration: 00:54s

'Imitation' Botticelli painting revealed to be real

British art restorers working on a painting long thought to be a later imitation of a Sandro Botticelli masterpiece have found it in fact came from the Italian renaissance artist's own workshop.

Lauren Anthony reports.

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'Imitation' Botticelli painting revealed to be real

British art restorers long thought this painting was a Botticelli imitation.

But they've discovered that it is - in fact - the real deal.

The English Heritage organization says its conservators had been scraping away centuries of ageing varnish from the masterpiece.

Only to unveil the "Madonna della Melagrana" - which shows the mother of Jesus Christ holding her child and a pomegranate.

The experts used X-ray and infra-red technology to reveal drawing underneath.

And discovered clues that revealed the artwork's real identity.

It is the closest version of the 15th century painter's original masterpiece which sits in Florence's Uffizi gallery.

Sandro Botticelli's fame comes from some of his most iconic works, such as "The Birth of Venus" and "Primavera." He was known to make copies of his own work to sell to those who liked a painting they had seen elsewhere.

The restored piece will go on display at London's Ranger's House gallery on April 1.

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