Lost 'Michelangelo' found at Campion Hall, Oxford

Crucifixion With The Madonna, St John And Two Mourning Angels The painting was bought at auction in the 1930s

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A lost painting by Renaissance artist Michelangelo has been hanging in a University of Oxford residence, an Italian scholar claims.

The Campion Hall painting, which depicts the crucifixion, had been thought to be by Marcello Venusti.

But Antonio Forcellino said infra-red technology had revealed the true creator of the masterpiece.

It has been removed from a wall of the Jesuit academic community and sent to the Ashmolean Museum for safekeeping.

'Excitement and concern'

The master of Campion Hall, Father Brendan Callaghan, said: "It's a very beautiful piece, but far too valuable to have on our wall any more."

He said he greeted the development that the work - called Crucifixion With The Madonna, St John And Two Mourning Angels - could be a Michelangelo with "a mixture of excitement and slight concern".

"Simply having it hanging on our wall wasn't a good idea," he explained.

"Its value in the three years I've been master has gone up tenfold, even if it's not by Michelangelo.

"No doubt the art historians will argue the points to and fro."

In his book The Lost Michelangelos, Mr Forcellino wrote: "No-one but Michelangelo could have painted such a masterpiece."

The painting was bought by Campion Hall at a Sotheby's auction in the 1930s.

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