Goodwill Employee Finds Painting Worth Thousands in Store's Donation Bin

Maria Rivera says she's no art expert, but something about a painting dropped off at the Manassas, Virginia, Goodwill donation center where she works caught her eye.

"I said, ‘Wait a minute, this is the real thing here,'" she told a local radio station.

And sure enough, it was: What Rivera stumbled upon amid musty Halston dresses and yellowing copies of Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions was an original piece by 19th century Italian artist Giovanni Battista Torriglia, valued at $12,000.

Goodwill has since put the painting up for auction, with proceeds going to support its education and job training programs.

The organization expects to get calls from people attempting to claim ownership, but adds that, with no way to trace the artwork back to its donor, the untitled painting will remains in the charity's possession.

"I feel very, very proud," Rivera told WTOP, "and I know that it's going to be a very good thing for Goodwill."

HyperVocal points out that this is far from the first time a rare painting has turned up at Goodwill.

In 2012 alone, paintings and sketches by Salvador Dali, Ilya Bolotowsky, and Alexander Calder mysteriously made their way to Goodwill stores. By far the strangest find, however, was a 1,000-year-old vase that was discovered at a Goodwill warehouse in Buffalo, New York.

[H/T: HyperVocal, The Sideshow, screengrab via NBC Washington]