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Cleanup worker hits jackpot with art find

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 01:30

July 24 - In an unusual rags-to-riches story, cleanup worker Darryl Kelly finds artworks worth a small fortune while cleaning up a deceased photographer's New York City apartment. Tara Cleary reports.

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Low on cash, cleanup worker Darryl Kelly was called to this building in 2006 to clear out a deceased artist's home. Harry Shunk's apartment was filled almost floor to ceiling and everything had to be removed through this window. Six days and seven containers later -- with a lot of help from the skinniest member of his crew, Gregory Marsh, who crawled into the tight spaces -- the job was done. But before leaving, something told Kelly to take a few boxes containing art. SOUNDBITE: Darryl Kelly, cleanup worker, saying (English): "If I knew what I know today, nothing would have left without me having somebody there, talking to me, you know, letting me know what the value of this stuff was." Six years later, at auction, Kelly found out just how valuable his stash of art was. Thirty pieces went under the hammer totaling almost a quarter of a million U.S. dollars. SOUNDBITE: Darryl Kelly, cleanup worker, saying (English): "I'll talk to God and I say, 'Lord, if this is a dream, do me a favor, please don't wake me up.'" And a recent silent auction of some of Kelly's find earned enough for a headstone for Shunk - a way for Kelly to give back to the artist who inadvertently helped him. The experience also convinced Kelly that everything has value ... and so he keeps looking … SOUNDBITE: Darryl Kelly, cleanup worker, saying (English): "If you see me in a dumpster, I'm not crazy; I'm just looking for some money (LAUGHS)."

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Cleanup worker hits jackpot with art find

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 - 01:30