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On the Verge of Collapse, Vanderbilt Museum Finds Gem Behind Basement Wall


Another quick follow-up and this one’s a little bizarre. On Friday, we reported that Long Island’s Vanderbilt Museum was suffering the fate of many museums of late, finding themselves with little operating cash as their endowments have dried up. And as things have become dire for this, they are considering selling their prized Jurrasic Park fiberglass dinosaurs. But over the weekend, the museum’s staff discovered, hidden behind a wall in their basement of all places, what they believe is a 15th or 16th-century sculpture by the della Robbia family, famous for their work during the Italian Renaissance of that area. That’s great news in and of itself, but even better for the museum’s coffers is that the work could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. How’s that for good luck? The only trick now is that they just have to figure out if they want to sell the piece and if they can get away with cashing in on something they didn’t know they even had until a few days ago. Alternately, displaying it also might be a big enough draw, helping to land them more visitors and therefore a few more dollars in their currently-empty pockets.

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