In "Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler", why is the angel statue such a popular attraction at the museum?
The angel is an extremely popular attraction at the museum because people are curious about it. According to a newspaper article in The New York Times,
"interest in the marble piece arises from the unusual circumstances attending its acquisition by the museum and from the belief that it may be the work of the Italian Renaissance master, Michelangelo. If proof is found that it is an early work of Michelangelo, the museum will have purchased the greatest bargain in art history; it was purchased at an auction last year for $225.00".
If the statue is truly the work of the great master Michelangelo, it would be worth many, many times that price; the article goes on to note that $5 million was recently offered for a small painting by Leonardo da Vinci, who was one of Michelangelo's contemporaries, and an artist of arguably equal merit.
The statue itself has an unusually strong aesthetic appeal. Claudia thinks that the angel is "the most beautiful, most graceful little statue she had ever seen", but she cannot pinpoint why it seems so important to her or why it is so special.