A priceless work of art has been discovered by an employee of the Krakow Historical Museum – for sale on internet auction site Allegro.pl.
Katarzyna Bury, who works at the Hipolit House branch of the museum, was searching the web for a book about panel painting, when she stumbled across the image.
She said the Medieval picture immediately caught her attention, and, after consulting a colleague at the Institute of Art History, approached the seller.
Initially, Ms Bury posed as a potential buyer, but when she revealed her identity the seller agreed to let her see the painting. It depicts St Mary Salome, and is a fragment that has been cut inexpertly from a larger work.
Ms Bury told the newspaper Gazeta Krakowska: “For the first time in my life I saw a picture from the medieval years, untouched by the hand of a conservator, with the layer of paint preserved in a state in which the artist left it.
As for the true value of the find… not even the experts want to comment. It was up for PLN 5,000 on Allegro, but Gazeta Krakowska reports that, as most similar pieces are seen only in museums and churches, it is likely to be worth much more.
The painting has now been withdrawn from Allegro.