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The $4 million painting found in a Des Moines attic goes on display this week

Once lost in an attic, a restored 16th century painting worth millions goes on display this week at Hoyt Sherman Place in Des Moines. 

Public viewing for "Apollo and Venus," a piece by celebrated Dutch artist Otto van Veen, begins Thursday evening with a reception in the Hoyt Sherman Place art gallery. Free and open to the public, the reception starts 5 p.m. with remarks set for 6 p.m. 

After installation on Thursday, the public may view "Apollo and Venus" during Hoyt Sherman Place gallery hours, weekdays 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or during a theater event. The building hosts a total of 78 pieces of art, 54 of which can be found in the gallery.

Full story: A trip to a Des Moines attic ended in the restoration of a 400-year-old painting. And it's worth millions.

Hoyt Sherman executive director Robert Warren discovered the painting in February 2016 while searching for historic American flags in a storage room under the balcony seating.

For months, the painting went through a research, verification and restoration process that led to a public unveiling in March 2018. Warren said Hoyt Sherman officials needed to obtain additional security funding before putting "Apollo and Venus" on permanent display. 

"We had to wait for a couple of grants to come through so we could install the security cameras that the insurance company was requiring," Warren said. 

Based on past von Veen work, the painting could be worth $4 to $17 million, Warren said, but aficionados may never know its true value because the organization doesn't plan on selling its discovery.