The painting recently found in Romania, which was believed to be a stolen artwork by Pablo Picasso, is actually a forgery, the BBC reports.
Experts had hoped that the painting was Harlequin Head, snatched from the Kunsthal museum in Rotterdam in an infamous art heist six years ago.
Romanian novelist Mira Feticu who thought she had found the painting six years ago seems to have been the victim of a prank.
A Belgian theatre company duped the writer, who wrote a novel based on the daring robbery, into thinking she had found the missing artwork in Romania.
The theft of the century, as the 2012 heist was dubbed by local media, saw pieces by Picasso, Monet, Matisse and others taken in three minutes.
Four Romanian art thieves were jailed for the heist, but the seven artworks - estimated to be worth as much as €200m (£160m) at the time - were never recovered.
Some of the pieces are feared to have been burned by one of the robber's mothers - who told local media she incinerated the paintings after police began searching her village. She later retracted her confession.