6. Fresco upon fresco
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For more than four centuries, a Leonardo da Vinci fresco was believed to be lost. But a puncture in a Giorgio Vasari mural at Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio, revealed traces of black paint which was used for painting the Mona Lisa. Vasari, a renowned painter and architect, wrote “Cerca Trova” which means “seek to find” on the mural, perhaps as a clue to the painting which lay beneath.
7. Flea market Renoir
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In September 2012, 51-year old Marcia Fuqua claimed to have bought a small painting by Auguste Renoir from a West Virginia flea market for $7. Investigations revealed that the painting was stolen from Baltimore Museum of Art in 1951. The FBI stepped in and found that Fuqua’s mother worked as a reproducer of ancient paintings. The matter was put up before the court.
8. Ajanta Caves
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28 April, 1819. British officer John Smith on a hunting mission, stumbles on the entrance to a cave. He goes to a nearby village and asks the villagers to come with whatever tools they can find to cut the overgrowth which made entering the caves difficult. The magnificent Ajanta Caves, bearing some of the best Buddhist ancient paintings and sculptures dating back to 2nd century BC, are revealed to the world.
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Autumn 1879, Spanish amateur archaeologist Marcelino Sanz de Sautuloa, at the insistence of his daughter Maria, sets out to explore a hillside cave not far from their home in Altamira. One day, while Sautuloa was digging on the cave’s floor, Maria called out to him and pointed at the painting of an ox on one of the cave walls. The young girl had just become the first modern human being to discover an entire gallery of prehistoric paintings.
Also Read: Top 15 Famous Ancient Greek Sculptures
10. Chauvet Cave
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On 18 December 1994, speleologists Jean-Marie Chauvet, Christian Hillaire, and Eliette Brunel-Deschamps, strolled into a cave in southern France to discover some of the best preserved prehistoric figurative paintings in the world. The Chauvet Cave has since been recognized as one of the most significant pre-historic art sites. It even has markings of animals that are now long extinct.