A VINCENT Van Gogh painting reported missing 40 years ago may have been discovered by tax inspectors in Spain during a national fraud investigation.

Cypress, Sky and Country, which disappeared while on display Vienna’s Art History Museum in the early 1970s, was found by tax inspectors in a deposit box in a bank.

Art experts informed Spain’s tax office that the work was most likely genuine, but now an Austrian professor has cast fresh doubt on the finding.

The painting, measuring 35 by 32 centimetres, was painted in 1889 and has three seals as proof of authenticity.

One of those is from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Holland, and is dated to 1944 when it would have been under Nazi occupancy.

Dr. Friedrich Polleroß, head of archives at the Art History Institute of Vienna University, claims the University has no records of such a painting existing.

The work was found during an operation to seize the contents of 542 bank deposit boxes from tax offenders who owed around €319 million.

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