July 19, 2009

Pricey artifacts found in artist’s trash

The head of a rubbish removal company says he found Mexican artifacts worth $16,500 in a barrel he took from an artist's New York home.

Rubbish Removal Co. President Nick Dimola said he came into possession of the barrel when hired to clean out the apartment where abstract artist Clinton Hill lived until his death in 2003, the New York Daily News reported Sunday.

The cardboard barrel had been deemed trash in the clean-up of the artist's Manhattan home, allowing Dimola to take it and store it in a warehouse.

Dimola said when he finally opened the barrel five years later, he found it was filled with Mexican pottery dating back to sometime between 300 B.C. and 500 A.D.

There's always something in the garbage worth money, Dimola said of his find.

Attorney John Koegel, who handled the estates of Hill and his partner Allen Tran, told the Daily News he was less than thrilled about Dimola's discovery.

I'm not happy for him, Koegel said. I'm sorry that (barrel) slipped through the cracks.