Art historians excited about finding large medieval mural under whitewash





PARIS -- An immense treasure trove of medieval wall paintings, concealed by whitewash for 300 years, has been found in a small church in south-eastern France.

Experts believe that up to 600 square metres of the upper walls of the nave of the church in Vif, near Grenoble, are decorated with frescoes painted in the last part of the 14th century.

Only small sections of the paintings have been uncovered so far, but restorers and art historians are convinced that the whitewash -- or greywash -- at the Saint-Jean-Baptiste church conceals one of the largest, most complete and best-preserved medieval murals in Europe.

"From the jigsaw pieces we have uncovered, we believe that this must be a continuous work covering two walls," said Séverine Haberer, who led the exploratory restoration work. "What we have found so far is richly coloured and unusually well-preserved. It is a very exciting discovery."



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