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New Jersey Man Finds Possible Pablo Picasso Piece Worth Millions

A New Jersey man discovered what may be a piece by Pablo Picasso worth millions in his aunt's house.

Broadcast executive Carl Sabatino found the possible Picasso piece after his aunt mentioned it on her deathbed in 2004, according to NBC 10.

Sabatino's uncle reportedly purchased the piece in London for around $10 while he served as a soldier during World War ll.

He recalled seeing the portrait of a woman in a fuzzy hat hanging on his aunt's wall throughout his childhood, but had never thought anything special of it.

The artwork was revealed to be a recreation of Picasso's "Woman with a Cape," which has been on display at the Cleveland Museum in Ohio since 1956.

An executive at a New York auction house dismissed Sabatino's claim, referring to it as $10 poster.

“She threw it back at me, just left-handedly, I’ll never forget it,” he told NBC 10.

Eleven years later, Sabatino has been on a mission to prove her and other critics wrong.

He studied Picasso's life before the war and said he found evidence the artist had experimented with a fine art method called gum bichromate.

The technique fuses original coloring and photographic methods with pigments to produce a new piece.

Sabatino had the chemicals in the portrait analyzed by experts to prove his theory.

President of the Center for Art Material Analysis in Westmont Dr.Kenneth Smith and his team extracted small portions of pigment from the piece that were consistent with Europe in the 1930s, the time and place that Picasso would have created it.

“An area about the size of a period out of a sentence was removed and transferred to a microscopic slide,” Smith said.

Smith also found a partial thumbprint on the side of the artwork, which could be from the artist.

“You would clearly see that it was a partial fingerprint, which would have occurred as the artist picked up the piece before that surface coating was completely dry,” he said.

The piece would be the first ever Picasso with a print.

It has been sent to a forensic lab near Washington, D.C., to verify its authenticity.

Picasso expert and art appraiser Richard Beau Lieu believes current evidence puts the piece's worth at $13 million, but believes it could be worth more if additional evidence appears.

“Wait and see. There’s always going to be skeptics. I’m convinced this is the real deal,” Beau Lieu said.

Sabatino has the artwork protected in a fireproof case in a secured place.

He views the piece as a honor to his Italian aunts and uncles, who were working-class citizens but always admired the arts.

Picasso pieces command some of the highest prices in the art world. The Guardian reports Picasso's "Woman of Algiers" sold for $179 million at a New York City auction in May.

Sources: NBC 10, The Guardian / Photo credit: NBC Screenshot

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