Goodwill's Good Will: Workers Return $500,000 Statue

Miami volunteers discover a donated statue is more than meets the eye

This might sound like a shameless plug or cheesy commercial, but what Goodwill Industries volunteers in Miami did recently certainly is worth the name of the noble charity.

Amongst a bunch of goods donated to the nonprofit organization, workers found a ballerina statue worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $500,000, CBS4 reports.

Instead of selling the rare bronze art piece, management tracked down the person who donated the statue and returned it.

Apparently, Goodwill Industries of South Florida does not subscribe to the mantra, finders keepers.

"Once we learned of the value and history of the ballerina and that the ballerina came from a large corporation that has gone through several ownership changes over the years, we suspected that the owner did not have a clue of the value of the statue," Dennis Pastrana, President and CEO of Goodwill, said.

A good question would be, who donates a two-ton statue to Goodwill to begin with?

Art appraisers said the signed ballerina was one of only 10 produced in the world and each went for $500,000 and that was decades ago.

There's no telling how much the rare find would fetch today from art moguls, but we are sure it would help a struggling organization that tries to provide training and employment opportunities for the disabled.

A Goodwill staff member is scheduled to return the statue today to the firm that had donated it, which requsted to remain anonymous.

When the statue's sculptor was notified of the incident, reported the Miami Herald, she was amused but said that if was a shame "it goes back to someone who doesn't even know what he had.''

Nonetheless, Pastrana said it was the right thing to do.

"We have a reputation for integrity and honesty. And while we could have kept the statue, in good conscience we knew that it would have been wrong and unethical to attempt to sell such a valuable piece of art without notifying the donor first.," he said.

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