NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A 100-year-old religion successful New Rochelle housed a 400-year-old treasure and nary 1 realized it until a antheral stopped to worship, and looked up.
“It instantly caught my eye, and I knew it was a 17th period Italian painting. And that’s erstwhile I began the investigation,” said Tom Ruggio.
Ruggio is simply a prof of creation and creation past astatine Iona College. It didn’t instrumentality agelong for him to pinpoint the coating of the Holy Family with babe St. John the Baptist arsenic the enactment of Cesare Dandini, an Italian maestro of the Baroque style.
“Now this coating was thought to beryllium missing, due to the fact that it was referred to in documentation successful the Metropolitan Museum’s archives,” Ruggio said.
For 60 years oregon so, the creation satellite had nary thought the missing coating resided astatine Holy Family Church.
“I thought it was shocking to spot present successful New Rochelle,” Ruggio said.
The religion believes a donor gave a erstwhile pastor funds to acquisition it successful Rome successful the 1960s.
The Dandini is temporarily connected show astatine Iona, hung up high, arsenic the creator intended. You tin archer by the mode helium positioned the Virgin Mary’s foot.
“The Virgin Mary’s ft is raised and you tin spot the bottommost of it. In Italian, that’s called ‘di sotto successful su,’ and that means astir ‘to look astatine it from below, upwards,'” Ruggio said.
They authenticated the coating by comparing it with known works by Dandini successful the collections of the Hermitage depository successful Russia and the Met successful New York City.
It whitethorn person been painted successful Florence successful the 1630s, possibly a committee from the Medici family.
An evident question: What is this coating worth?
“I deliberation that’s for the marketplace to determine,” Ruggio said.
The grounds terms for a Dandini is astir $800,000. It is simply a treasure successful much ways than one.
The existent pastor astatine Holy Family told CBS2 the coating volition beryllium connected show astatine Iona College done the extremity of the year.
The parish is moving connected a program to unafraid and support the coating erstwhile it is returned to the church.
Tony Aiello serves arsenic a CBS2 wide duty newsman with a absorption connected covering quality and breaking stories successful the Northern Suburbs.More from Tony Aiello