100 years ago today a small, rather obscure masterpiece was stolen from the Louvre by a disillusioned former(?) employee. Subsequently:
- the painting was recovered during an attempt to sell it to an Italian museum
- the painting toured Italy
- a campaign started in Italy to keep the painting
- a campaign started in France to get it back
- parodies of the painting appeared
Result: the painting was no longer a small, obscure masterpiece. It was an incredibly famous, larger-than-life painting.
You can read more about it in Chapter 3 of Everything is Obvious*.
Chance has a large effect on valuations. Rationality need not play a large part.