Five years ago, Nina Sundell and Antonio Homem inherited "Canyon" from their mother, Ileana Sonnabend, a well-known New York art dealer. The piece is a combination of personal photographs, cardboard, wood, fabric, paint, string, a pillow, and a stuffed bald eagle on canvas. In the U.S., bald eagles cannot be sold or traded, and so the appraisers valued the piece at zero. The IRS claimed the piece was worth $65 million and required $31.9 million in taxes and penalties from the Sonnabend children. At the final settlement, the tax deduction was dropped and the Sonnabend children were required to donate the piece to a museum without claiming a tax deduction for the donation.
After considering both the Met and MoMa, Sundell and Homem decided on MoMA because they believed the combine would receive more visibility there. For more information about the piece and the donation, see the New York Times article.