Stolen Degas painting found inside bus in France

Paris, Feb 24 (IANS) French customs police have found a painting by 19th century Impressionist artist Edgar Degas — that was stolen nine years ago — in a bus near Paris, authorities said.

In a statement on Friday, the Culture Ministry said the customs agents found the work of art with the signature “Degas” inside a suitcase in the luggage compartment of the bus, reports Xinhua news agency.

Experts confirmed it was “Les Choristes” (The Chorus Singers), a pastel painting which depicts singers’ performance on stage and measures 32 cm by 27 cm.

It was completed in 1877. The French national museums service said its estimated price was 800,000 euros (nearly $1 million).

“Les Choristes” was stolen in 2009 during an exhibition in the Cantini Museum, which is located in Marseille. Authorities at that time found no signs of a break-in.

The recovered painting will reappear in a Degas-themed exhibition in the Orsay Museum in Paris this autumn, French Culture Minister Francoise Nyssen said in the statement.

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