ROME – A huge mural painted by Italian futurist artist Giacomo Balla that had been missing for almost a century has been rediscovered in a bank in the capital Rome, art historians said Friday.
“Bal Tic Tac,” an 80-square-meter artwork painted in 1921 that was believed to have been destroyed, was rediscovered on the walls and ceiling of the ground floor of a building that is now owned by the Bank of Italy.
It was a “sensational discovery,” Rome special superintendent Francesco Prosperetti told the press of the find.
The work, well-known to art historians, has been hidden for almost a century under a false ceiling, wallpaper and the several layers of paint that have been applied over the years.
The abstract composition, painted in yellows, reds and blues in the style of Futurism – the 20th-century art movement that emerged from Italy depicting speed and technology – originally decorated the walls of a popular jazz and dance club.
Balla, one of the founding fathers of Futurism, had been commissioned to decorate the entire space.
The piece, which was discovered in 2017 but was not fully revealed until recently, was found in good condition.
Restoration work is set to be carried out and the mural will once again be revealed to the public eye as part of a Bank of Italy museum scheduled to open in 2021.