WASHINGTON (TND) — An elderly French woman had quite the surprise when she found out a painting in her kitchen dates back to the 13th century.
The painting called "The Mocking of Christ" was created by Italian artist Cimabue and was not discovered until appraisers came to the woman's house in Compiegne, France in 2019.
The woman thought the rare artwork was a Greek religious icon, according to multiple reports.
Now, four years after its discovery, the painting is heading to the Louvre Museum in Paris.
The painting dates back to 1280 and sold for 24.2 million euros ($26.8 million) at an auction in October 2019.
However, the French government stepped in to block its export and assigned the painting as a "national treasure" which kept it in the country for 30 months.
The stall gave the government enough time to raise funds to buy it for the nation.
"In the 1280s, The Derision of Christ became an exception on the artistic scene and positioned itself at the forefront of Western Painting," the Louvre said in a news release. "This work allows us to take a new look at the artist who, for the first time, abandoned the "Greek Manner," that is to say Byzantine, opening the way for a renaissance of Western painting."
The painting helps complete part of its collection and will join the Cimabue painting "Maestà," according to the president and director of the Louvre Museum, Laurence des Cars.
des Cars added the painting is “a crucial milestone in art history, marking the fascinating transition from icon to painting.”
Both works will be displayed as part of an exhibition event in spring 2025.