La Pietà Perduta (The Lost Pieta) is the new book by Mr. Forcellino where he outlines his research to ascertain if the painting owned by Lt. Col Kober was really a piece of work by the master Michelangelo. His research finally concludes that the painting is an original work by the master. The unfinished painting was for years stuffed behind a sofa in the house of the Kober family. Even the Kobers, who took the picture off their wall after it was hit by an errant tennis ball, weren’t sure whether it was priceless or worthless.
A similar Michelangelo work hanging in a prestigious museum is worth up to $300 million. Lieutenant Colonel Martin Kober in 2003 after his retirement from the US Air Force became conscious that the bundle behind the couch might one day become the most important art find of the century. He contacted auction houses, art historians and then visited a leading expert on Michelangelo in Italy, Antonio Forcellino.
While talking to the New York Post Forcellino said that he was totally convinced that it is a Michelangelo painting. He said that this painting was even more beautiful than the versions hanging in Rome and Florence. He said he was finally convinced by the result of X-ray and infrared examinations of the painting which reveal multiple alterations.