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Guard Arrested and then Released in Theft Of Degas Painting
Three policewomen while waiting to enter the Cantini Museum in Marseille to investigate the disappearance of "Les Choristes" by Edgard Degas. Photo: EFE/Patrick Nosetto.
MARSEILLE (REUTERS).- Several media outlets reported today that a security guard has been arrested in the theft of an Edgar Degas painting from a museum Wednesday night. The New York Times later published that the watchman had been released after questioning.

The pastel work, "The Chorus," was worth an estimated 800,000 euros ($1.15 million), the prosecutor said. Local media had originally said it was worth an estimated 30 million euros.

The work belonged to the Musee d'Orsay in Paris and had been loaned to Marseille's Cantini museum for an exhibition that was due to close on January 3.

"The disappearance of this very expensive painting was discovered when the museum opened on Thursday morning. There do not seem to be any signs of breaking and entering," Marseille public prosecutor Jacques Dallest told Reuters.

The Musee d'Orsay, which has been loaning out many works in recent months to raise funds, declined to comment on the theft.

(Reporting by Francois Revilla; Writing by Sophie Taylor)

Marseille's Cantini museum | "The Chorus" | Edgar Degas | Jacques Dallest | Musee d'Orsay |

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