New York man buys cottage, discovers $30M of art in attic, garage

In 2007, New Yorker Thomas Schultz and his business partner Lawrence Joseph bought a rundown cottage in Bellport, Long Island, for $300,000.

Upon moving in, Schultz discovered thousands of paintings, drawings and journals by Arthur Pinajian, an obscure Armenian-American abstract impressionist, stashed away in the garage and attic.

"It looked like a pile of junk, but on closer inspection I realized it was a vast body of work created by one artist over 60 years," Schultz told Pix11. "I knew right away I wasn’t going to throw that artwork into the dumpster, it was bad karma."

Art appraiser Peter Hastings Falk valued the works at $30 million.

"Pinajian, a former resident of the property who struggled to find success in the art world all his life, had instructed that the works be thrown away when he died. His wishes were ignored, and they remained gathering dust amid bugs, vermin and mould," the Telegraph reported.

Falk told The Armenian Weekly: "[Pinajian] painted every day but no one saw his art. He received no reviews and not one of his paintings or works on paper ever was shown in a New York gallery or museum."

Some pieces have already sold for $500,000 USD. Fifty of the landscape paintings are currently on exhibition at Manhattan's Fuller Building.

Moral of the story? Clean out your attic.