Trashed Painting Fetches $1M

Canvas found in garbage sells for seven figures at Sotheby's
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2007 8:00 AM CST
This image originally provided by Sotheby's auction house in New York shows the 1970 painting, "Tres Personajes" (Three People), by Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo. The abstract painting was found, lying...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A painting by the Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo rescued from the trash sold at Sotheby's last night for over $1 million, the BBC reports. A New York woman spotted the 1970 work in a pile of garbage awaiting pick-up on the curb in her upper West Side neighborhood. She took it back to her apartment; only months later did she discover that the work was listed with the Art Loss Register as having disappeared from a Houston collection.

The Tamayo, despite its peregrinations, was in excellent condition when it came up for sale yesterday. Elizabeth Gibson, who found the work four years ago, returned it to the owners and received both a $15,000 reward and a cut of the Sotheby's sale. Tres Personajes is a work from the Mexican artist's late period, with sand and marble dust worked into the canvas.