Stolen Degas Painting Returned to France After 38 Years Missing

Published by: dallaseste on 3rd Dec 2010 | View all blogs by dallaseste
Stolen Degas Painting.jpg

Stolen Degas Painting Returned to France After 38 Years Missing

Thirty-eight years after it was stolen from a museum in Normandy, a 19th century painting by Edgar Degas will be returned to the French government.   Degas painted the picture between 1870 and 1872, and was stolen from the Malraux Museum in Le Havre, Normandy in 1973.  The piece went missing for almost four decades before it surfaced in a catalog for the world famous auction house Sotheby's.

Authorities say the painting was consigned to a French art collector named Ronald Gresalmer, who says he acquired the painting as a gift from his father.  A Sotheby's spokesman said that the company had no reason to believe the painting was stolen, as it did not appear in any of its lost art databases; and it has had a longstanding relationship with Gresalmer without any issues.

"Sotheby's is happy to have been able to be involved in this discovery, and we are pleased that this painting will be returned to the government of France," the spokesman, Diana Phillips said.

According to the Sotheby's catalog, the 8.5” x 6.25” painting, titled "Blanchisseuses souffrant des dent" ("Laundry Women with Toothache,") has an estimated value between $350,000 and $450,000.

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