A City of Tonawanda man believes he owns a genuine piece of artwork by famed artist Michelangelo.
Martin Kober's great, great grandparents received the painting in the late 1800's. It rests on a 470-year-old piece of spruce wood with a rare combination of tempera, which is an emulsion of water and egg yolk. The surface has an oil glazing.
After the painting was stashed behind the family couch for 25 years, Kober took up the challenge of working with historians from here to Rome to prove its authenticity.
"Technology is a great thing. We have new scientific abilities to look under the paint to investigate the drawing. People are making comparisons of that and various stratifications, even the pigment. And most of that tells us those were the same things used Michelangelo used," says Kober.
The painting depicts a fallen Jesus in Mary's arms and flanked by two angels. Kober believes the painting dates back to 1545. Right now the painting is still undergoing several tests including scientific examination using infrared technology, x-rays and forensics.
This possible masterpiece is worth an estimated $300 million dollars.