NANTES, France (Reuters) - A French municipal library has discovered a musical score handwritten by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in its archives, the Nantes town hall said on Thursday.
The one-page work, donated to the town by a private collector at the end of the 19th century, was until recently thought to be a copy rather than an original.
The unpublished score, measuring 16 cm by 29 cm (6.5 by 11.5 inches), is thought to have been written around 1787, according to an expert musicologist from the Mozarteum university in the composer's native city of Salzburg in Austria.
The score is undergoing a second round of expert investigations, Nantes authorities said.
"A Mozart autograph is hugely valuable. There are lots of them in the vaults of Swiss banks," said Michel Noiray, head of the French centre for research on musical heritage.
Mozart was one of the most prolific classical composers. He died in 1791 at the age of 35, leaving over 600 known pieces of music.
Reporting by Guillaume Frouin