An original Norman Rockwell painting that's been hidden in closets around Gardner schools for more than a decade is headed to the auction block.
Mayor Mark Hawke hopes the painting can fetch as much as $2.5 million, money he and others in the central Massachusetts city hope can be used to set up a foundation to benefit city schools.
The Gardner News reports that the 1941 painting "Willie Gillis in Convoy" was a gift from Rockwell to former Gardner High School principal F. Earl Williams in the 1950s. It depicts a World War II soldier in the back of a truck with several comrades.
It hung in the principal's office until 2001 when it was hidden over concerns for its safety.
Sotheby's in New York is scheduled to hold the auction May 21.