Crucifixion with the Madonna, St John and Two Mourning Angels has been hanging at Campion Hall, a Jesuit student residence, since the 1930s, when it was bought at a Sotheby's auction.
Infra-red investigations by art scholar Antonio Forcellino suggest that Michelangelo could well be behind the piece, previously thought to have been painted by Marcello Venusti.
Father Brendan Callaghan, the master of Campion Hall, told the BBC that the item was now too valuable to keep in the residence.
"Simply having it hanging on our wall wasn't a good idea," he explained.
"Its value in the three years I've been master has gone up tenfold, even if it's not by Michelangelo.
"No doubt the art historians will argue the points to and fro."
The piece has now been relocated to the nearby Ashmolean Museum for safe keeping.
Very few Michelangelos remain in private hands, making this piece of great interest to alternative investors and art collectors.
A Michelangelo drawing, Study of a Mourning Woman, sold for £5.9m in 2001, having been discovered after 250 years of obscurity in North Yorkshire.
In 2009, a Ludovico Mazzolino artwork thought to have been lost, sold for £107,550 at Duke's auction house in Dorchester, UK. The 1522 piece far surpassed its £60,000 high side estimate.
The work was found in a packing case by a Cheltenham pensioner, having been forgotten for more than 60 years.
The piece had last been sold for £20 in 1812.
Of course, it is usually easier to find fine artworks on the private markets rather than on dormitory walls, and there are plenty of tempting opportunities for buyers on a limited budget, such as this Pisarro etching or this acrylic on canvas by Orlanda Bloom.
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