LONDON, March 26 (UPI) -- Doubts about authenticity relegated two Royal Collection paintings to British storerooms when experts dismissed them as copies of Baroque masterpieces.
Well, the experts were wrong. And after years of gathering dust and dirt, the so-called imitators will be on display, restored -- in every sense -- to the Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio masterpieces that they are, The (London) Independent said.
"The Calling of Saints Peter and Andrew" and "A Boy Peeling Fruit" really were painted by the Italian Baroque master, art historians concluded last year after spending six years studying the paintings. They estimated their worth at more than $98 million.
The paintings will be part of "The Art of Italy" exhibition that opens Friday at the Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace. The show will bring together 90 paintings and 85 drawings from royal palaces and residences.
"The Calling of Saints Peter and Andrew," acquired by Charles I in 1637, was regarded as one of Caravaggio's more complex pieces. It was dismissed as a copy until experts from the Royal Collection began restoring the piece.
Discovery that this was an original work led to the confirmation of the simpler piece, "A Boy Peeling Fruit."