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Painting Once Worth $26 Now Estimated at $26 Million

If anything epitomizes the current cultural fascination with uncovering antique treasures, it would have to be the recent story about the discovery of an original painting by the Renaissance artist Raphael in an estate in Scotland, which was originally thought to be a fake. The painting, credited as a copy for years to a minor artist named Innocenzo Fancucci da Imola, had been valued at $26 in 1899 (about $2,600 in today's prices). The painting caught the eye of art expert Dr. Benor Grosvenor during the filming of a BBC television series while he was looking at other artwork. "I thought, crikey, it looks like a Raphael," Grosvenor told reporters. That fact would bring the value of the painting up to an estimated $26 million.

The piece has not had sufficient time to complete the vigorous process of consultations and expert viewings to completely verify its identity, but in the eyes of Grosvenor, it's only a matter of time. "All the evidence seems to point in the right direction," he says, adding that the discovery might even be of national significance: "It would be Scotland's only publicly owned Raphael." It would appear to be quite the turnaround for a painting that has been disregarded and treated as virtually worthless for hundreds of years.

Potential Preaching Angles: (1) Scripture compares Jesus to a rejected cornerstone. (2) The painting was virtually worthless until the true artist behind the work was revealed. Human beings have inherent dignity because God is the author of each person.

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