A painting thought to be by baroque Italian artist Caravaggio has been found and it thought to be worth 120 million euros (NZ$195 million).
The artwork was found in the attic of a house in southwest France two years ago, and was attributed to the Italian master Caravaggio.
On Tuesday, French art experts hailed its discovery as a great event in the history of art.
The work, which depicts Biblical heroine Judith beheading an Assyrian general, was found by the owners of a house near Toulouse as they investigated a leak.
It could be worth 120 million euros (NZ$195 million), the Eric Turquin art expert agency said in a statement.
The painting is thought to have been painted in Rome in 1604-1605 by Michelangelo Merisi, known as Caravaggio, and is in exceptionally good conditions, Eric Turquin said, despite having been forgotten in the attic for probably more than 150 years.
"A painter is like us, he has tics, and you have all the tics of Caravaggio in this. Not all of them, but many of them -- enough to be sure that this is the hand, this is the writing of this great artist," Turquin told Reuters TV.
However, Guardian art writer Jonathan Jones has argued the painting is a fake.
"Look at the hands of Holofernes in the Toulouse picture. They are brown and dirty," he says.
"Superficially this is a sign of Caravaggio’s touch. Yet this artist has overdone it. Soiled fingernails yes, but mucky hands? To me this looks like a clue that a talented forger is trying to replicate Caravaggio’s manner – and over-enthusiastically. Little signs of coarseness like this permeate the entire painting. This is a fake."