One of Michelangelo's last architectural designs for the dome of St. Peter's Basilica has been discovered in the basilica’s offices, the Associated Press reports.
The sketch was drawn in blood-red chalk for stonecutters who were building the basilica. Michelangelo created the sketch in 1563, the year before his death.
When the Vatican City newspaper L'Osservatore Romano first publicized the story, it wrote that "the sureness in his stroke, the expert hand used to making decisions in front of unfinished stone, leave little doubt, the sketch is Michelangelo's."
Michelangelo began work on St. Peter's Basilica in 1547.
The sketch is especially rare because the Renaissance artist ordered many of his designs destroyed when he was an old man. The rediscovered sketch survived because a supervisor used the back of it to make notes about problems related to transporting the building's stone through the outskirts of Rome.
The discovery will be presented at a news conference at the Vatican today.