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The Painting He Kept Behind His Sofa Could Be Worth $300 Million

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Martin Kober doesn't know much about art, but he knows what he likes. And a painting from his childhood home that could be worth $300 million suits his tastes perfectly.

Kober with his painting.AP

The masterpiece is called "the Mike" by Kober's family but the Ragusa Pieta or the "Lost Michelangelo" by the art world, where the discovery has kicked off a fiery debate about whether or not it's real - and it all hinges on one small detail.

A close-up of "the Mike."AP

Since Kober was a little boy growing up in Rochester, New York "the Mike" was been hanging over his family's mantel. The painting shows a dying Jesus being held up by cherubs in front of the Virgin Mary, and it's supposedly painted by Michelangelo himself.

The frescoes of the Sistene Chapel, Michelangelo's most famous creation.Wikimedia

Before Kober's family realized what it could be worth the painting suffered a lot of abuse, including being stuffed behind a sofa and knocked off the wall twice: once while dusting it and once when it was hit by a tennis ball.

Despite the rough treatment the painting is in good shape after being restored (and stored safely in a vault) and could make Kober a bundle. But there's one detail that has experts convinced the painting is a fake.

Find out what the experts are arguing about on the next page!

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