A PAINTING that almost ended up in a skip is now on display at a special exhibition in Malton.

The picture, which depicts a Roman woman, had been in storage in Malton Museum for a number of years and was only rediscovered when items were being repacked.

Painted by Giuseppe de Nigris, the classical work is believed to have been donated to the museum by Dr James Kirk in the 1920s.

Dr Kirk founded York Castle Museum, but it is not know if he actually bought the painting during a visit to Italy or was given it in this country.

It is now on display as part of the Windows to the Past exhibition in Yorkersgate, Malton, which runs until the end of May.

Christine Barnard, a museum volunteer, said it was only thanks to the sharp-eye of one of those packing the painting that it was saved.

“It has been hidden away for a number of years and has never been on public display before,” said museum volunteer Christine Barnard.

“The painting is perfect for our display as it depicts a Roman lady as would have lived in a villa in the Malton area 2,000 years ago.”

Mrs Barnard said they were now looking for donations to fully restore the painting including professional cleaning.

The exhibition is open at the Milton Rooms on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, from 10am to 4pm, until May 31.