Sometimes the most curious things turn up in the most unlikely of places, like finding a twenty-dollar bill in an old pair of jeans, or in the case of the Evansville Museum, finding a rare work of art by Pablo Picasso that had been locked in the basement for over 50 years.

It seems that back in 1963, industrial designer Raymond Loewy donated the piece “Seated Woman with Red Hat” to the museum, which at the time was believed to be inspired by the work of Picasso, not actually created by the man himself.

It was only after a recent inquiry from an art auction house that the identity of its originator was revealed.

While members of the Evansville Museum say that the Picasso is a magnificent find and would make a spectacular feature addition to the museum’s collection, the museum board has determined that the piece would be too expensive to keep.

Earlier this week, the board of directors voted to sell the art privately, using a New York auction house, which they hope will bring in a substantial amount of revenue for the museum.

"Now that we have a full understanding of the requirements and additional expenses to display, secure, preserve and insure the piece, it is clear those additional costs would place a prohibitive financial burden on the museum," said R. Steven Krohn, president of the Museum's board of trustees.

Although the museum does not know exactly how much money the piece will bring at auction, other Picasso works have sold for millions – a painting from 1964 set a new record in 2010, selling for $106.5 million.

There is no word yet when Picasso’s rare work of lost art “Seated Woman with Red Hat” will be auctioned.

[Courier Press]