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Nude Christ by Michelangelo, long incognito, to be shown in London

Italy

IT might seem odd that a nearly 7-foot-tall statue of Christ by Michelangelo - and a nude one at that - would go unnoticed for centuries. But that's what happened to "Risen Christ" which was transferred to a country church in the 17th century and that fell into oblivion until 1997, when scholars attributed it to the Renaissance master.

"It was thought to be an imitation" of a Michelangelo, and "not a faithful one at that", said the Rev Cleto Tuderti, prior of the San Vincenzo Monastery on the outskirts of Bassano Romano, near Viterbo, where the statue was taken in 1644.

Rev Tuderti says that he is convinced that the unknown provenance of the work ensured its salvation through the ages. When...

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