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Judge orders Renoir stolen in 1951, found in flea market, to return to Baltimore museum
An art shopper looks closely at a 5.5 inch by 6.6 inch (14 centimeter by 23 centimeter) painting by French Impressionist master Pierre-Auguste Renoir in Alexandria, Virginia. The painting was recently discovered for just a few dollars at a Virgina flea market sale. The canvas which shows a scene along the Seine River titled "Paysage Bords de Seine" was scheduled to be auctioned September 29, 2012 at the Potomack Company, in Alexandria, Virginia, selling for an expected 75,000 to 100,000 USD. It was for sale in a box with a plastic cow and a Paul Bunyan doll for 50.00 USD and still carries a label from the Berheim-Jeune arthouse in Paris, a famous purveyor of works by Renoir. AFP PHOTO/Paul J. Richards.
WASHINGTON (AFP).- A Renoir painting that was allegedly picked up at a flea market for $7 was stolen from a museum more than 60 years ago and must be returned, a United States federal judge ruled.

Eastern District of Virginia Judge Leonie Brinkema awarded ownership of the disputed 1879 oil painting on linen to the museum in Baltimore, ruling it had been stolen from there in November 1951.

"The Baltimore Museum of Art is pleased that the US District Court of the Eastern District of Virginia has awarded ownership of the stolen Renoir painting, 'On the Shore of the Seine,' to the museum," it said in a statement following Friday's ruling.

"We look forward to celebrating the painting's homecoming with a special installation in the galleries in late March."

The judge rejected the ownership claims of Marcia "Martha" Fuqua, said court documents which put the market value of the postcard-sized painting at $22,000.

Fuqua said she bought the painting at a West Virginia flea market for $7 in 2009.

The masterpiece by the French Impressionist was seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in October 2012 from an art auction gallery.

Fuqua, who came to be known as "Renoir Girl" in US media, had reportedly hoped to auction off the unsigned painting for as much as $100,000.


© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse






Today's News

January 13, 2014

Judge orders Renoir stolen in 1951, found in flea market, to return to Baltimore museum

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