1683 painting hiding in plain sight now at the Met

A very important painting more than 300 years old was hidden in plain sight. Only those with access to the president's office at Fordham University's Rose Hill campus had access to the art. Now it is part of a new exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

It is a massive, stunning work of art. It was unlikely to be lost but that is exactly what happened.

When Fordham University asked art history professor Barbara Mundy to check out some artwork, the paintings the university pointed her to were not all that special.

But something Mundy found in archival documents got her attention. She came across a reference to a painting by famous Mexican artist Cristobal Villalpando. But no one at Fordham had any knowledge of the painting.

Back in 2000, she was ushered into the president's office, and there she saw the very important painting by Villalpando of the Three Kings from 1683.

From the Rose Hill campus to the Met – what a ride. The painting went through a serious restoration process because it was discolored and damaged.

It was gifted to Fordham University shortly after its founding and displayed beginning in 1900. Now it is at the Met.