Masterpiece found in French woman's kitchen sells for $26.6M
An old painting found in the kitchen of an elderly French woman, who considered it an icon of little importance, has made her a multimillionaire.
The work, a masterpiece attributed to the 13th-century Italian painter Cimabue that was discovered earlier this year, sold for 24 million euros ($26.6 million) Sunday.
Dominique Le Coent of Acteon Auction House, who sold the masterpiece to an anonymous buyer near Chantilly, north of Paris, said the sale represented a "world record for a primitive, or a pre-1500 work."
"It's a painting that was unique, splendid and monumental. Cimabue was the father of the Renaissance. But this sale goes beyond all our dreams," Le Coent told The Associated Press.
An auctioneer spotted the painting in June while inspecting a woman's house in Compiegne in northern France and suggested she bring it to experts for an evaluation. It hung on a wall between the kitchen and dining room.
The woman will now receive "the majority" of the sale money, the auction house said.
The expected sale price had been 4 million to 6 million euros ($4.4 million to $6.6 million).