The painting known as 'Portrait of a Lady' by Gustav Klimt, which was recovered last December, after being discovered hidden in a utilities box attached to the Galleria d'Arte Moderna Ricci Oddi in Piacenza, has been deemed authentic by Italian experts. During a press conference held today Prosecutor Ornella Chicca told reporters: "It is with no small emotion that I can tell you the work is authentic."
The painting had been stolen in February 1997. Yet, despite many leads, as well as talks with a local art thief who claimed he had stolen the original while it still hung in the gallery, replacing it with a duplicate, the artwork remained missing for nearly 23 years. That is until it was found on the very same grounds from which it disappeared.