Degas, stolen in 2009, found in a bus near Paris automatic translate
PARIS. A little over eight years ago, French investigators were shocked by the circumstances of how a small picture of Impressionist Edgar Degas was stolen from a museum in the Mediterranean port city of Marseille. The painting depicts the choristers from the final act of the opera "Don Giovanni".
The colorful pastel of 1877, depicting singers on the stage, was unscrewed from the wall, but there was no sign of hacking. The police briefly detained the night watchman, but then released him.
Years have passed. The painting, entitled "The Chorus Singers", which cost was estimated at about 1 million dollars, was never found.
On February 16, the staff of the French customs was found, with a standard inspection of the luggage compartment of the bus at a stop in Ferrière-en-Brie, about 18 miles east of Paris.
The officers found the signed picture in the suitcase, but none of the bus passengers recognized it as their property. A representative of the customs said on Friday that the search was not the result of a special request and that after the discovery of the picture the authorities did not know whether the work was genuine. Intercity bus lines are often checked because they are used by criminal networks for the transfer of drugs. A spokesman for the customs said that there had not been an additional interrogation of the bus passengers, but the investigation would continue.
Françoise Nissen, French minister of culture, said in a statement that "this successful discovery of a precious work of art" returned us what was "a great loss for the French impressionist heritage."
In December 2009, a painting from the Orsay Museum was on display at the Cantini Museum in Marseille. At that time, it was estimated at 800,000 euros. Specialists of the Orsay Museum have already confirmed its authenticity.
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