Belfast Telegraph

Friday 24 October 2014

Judge orders Renoir painting return

An apparently original painting by French impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir that was acquired by a woman from Virginia at a flea market (AP/Potomack Company)

A federal judge has ruled that a napkin-sized painting by French impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir should be returned to a Baltimore museum from which it was stolen years ago. A Virginia woman claimed she bought it at a flea market for seven dollars (£4.25).

Judge Leonie Brinkema today rejected a claim of ownership from the woman who said she bought it in 2009.

Judge Brinkema, in court in Virginia, said there was overwhelming evidence that the painting was stolen from the Baltimore Museum of Art in 1951.

Marcia "Martha" Fuqua had planned to sell the painting at auction, but the sale was cancelled after the museum said the painting was stolen. The FBI seized the painting in 2012.

Ms Fuqua's story has since been contradicted by others.

AP

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