Inside the Mystery of NYU’s Hidden Pig Sculptures

Over 200 pigs have been found lingering through the halls of New York University’s Stern School of Business, and no one knows where they come from.

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Somewhere in closets deep within New York University’s Stern School of Business, there are at least 200 colorful pig sculptures—everything from gravy boats to ashtrays to beer steins. But where did they come from?

Turns out: nobody knows—or so reports the New York Times. For years, students and educators alike have been stumbling across the pig-shaped baubles, making them something of a campus legend. Joe Diaz, a facilities manager, was the first to find them in 2005, while examining a crawl space under the Stern auditorium. “It went on like an archaeological dig,” he told the Times. “The boxes containing the pigs were not all together and they kept appearing.”

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After that, they were moved from one storage space to another, sometimes narrowly escaping the trash bin. (As one school official put it, “There were a lot of people who coveted the pig closet.”) Paul Affuso, an associate dean who has worked at NYU since 1973, says he was told the pigs were “left as a gift to the undergraduate college, and that this woman had collected them all her life, just as a hobby,” per the Times. “I think she was an alum. I assume she passed away.” But even he can’t say for sure.

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The pig-urines are currently packed in crates, scattered in storage places throughout the school. At some point, they may get consolidated or even displayed. But for now, as Barbara Albrecht, who heads the Stern facilities, told the Times, “They are safe and secure as they are.”