Flaking and discolored, a Piero della Francesca work once described as "the greatest picture in the world" is in dire need of conservation.
"The Resurrection," Piero's striking image of Christ rising from the tomb above sleeping guards, is considered one of the finest masterpieces of late 15th-century Italian art.
The work is housed in the artist's hometown of Sansepolcro in Tuscany which was occupied by Germans during WWII. When British officer Tony Clarke was given orders to shell the town, he remembered an Aldous Huxley essay which described the painting there as “the greatest picture in the world."
Clarke held off his orders to preserve the painting. The Germans later fled the town without coming under fire.
Now, Italian businessman Aldo Osti, a former executive of Italian food company Buitoni near Sansepolcro, has offered up a sizeable sum to start restoration on "The Resurrection." The process will likely take a few years.