BELLPORT - Thousands of paintings by little-known artist Arthur Pinajian are on display in Bellport after a near miss with the trash heap.

When he died, Pinajian left instructions to dump the entire collection in the Brookhaven landfill. However, his family never followed through. When Thomas Schultz and investor Lawrence Joseph bought the artist’s cottage in 2007, they found the paintings in the attic and decided to keep the art.

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Schultz and Joseph bought the paintings with the house for $2,500, and proceeded to restore, frame and catalogue the artwork. After having it appraised, Schultz opened his own gallery in Bellport where most of Pinajian's works is being stored.

Schultz still lives in the Bellport cottage with his family.