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Couple find 16th-century frescoes in bedroom

An Italian couple have found some 16th-century frescoes in their bedroom after beginning renovations to add a bathroom in their apartment.

“First I came across Saint Peter’s sword, then his hand and arm,” he said.

Bit by bit, De Paolis uncovered copies of the frescoes in Raphael’s Room of Heliodorus at the Vatican museums, thought to have been painted by a contemporary student of the Renaissance master, Ugo da Scarpi, best known for his wood carvings.

The Room of Heliodorus is one of four frescoed chambers by Raphael and his disciples, commissioned for the private apartments of Pope Julius II in the Apostolic Palace, now part of the Vatican Museums, next to the Sistine Chapel.

About 50 square metres (500 square feet) survive of the copies, badly damaged but clearly distinguishable in places.

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