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A painting in a Pittsburgh Public School building had been drifting office to office for about 80 years. One day, school administrator Angela Abadilla looked up the painting just for shiggles. What she found out was shocking.
Abadilla found out the colorful work made in the '30s was created by a man named Henri Le Sidaner who just happens to be a Post-Impressionist icon. She also discovered the painting was worth somewhere in the ballpark of $500,000 dollars.
The work, entitled "Interior, Light from the Window" had been donated by a group in town called Friends of Art. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the painting had been given at some point following the 1933 Carnegie Institute's International Exhibition of Paintings. Nobody realized the painting was worth any money as it sat on the walls of the school. Sidaner's estate thought the painting wouldn't turn up.
"We didn't realize that his family did not know its location," Abadillasaid to WTAE News. "For 80 years it's been with us but it's been 'missing' from the art world as far as being part of his collection."
To raise money for the school's arts program, the district auctioned the work at a Sotheby's sale. They were even more shocked to receive a fat check for $750,000. Sotheby's also didn't charge the school for shipping, insurance, or preparation for the auction.