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French customs officials find stolen Degas in luggage on bus

This handout photo taken on February 22, 2018 in an unknown location and released on February 23, 2018 by the French customs (Douanes Francaises) shows a French custom officer holding a Degas painting stolen from a museum in Marseille nine years ago has been found on a bus near Paris. (AFP)
PARIS: French customs officers have found an impressionist painting by Edgar Degas stowed on a bus, more than eight years after it was reported stolen.
The French Culture Ministry said Friday that customs agents in Marne-la-Vallee were surprised to find a work of art bearing the signature “Degas” inside a suitcase in the bus’ luggage compartment. The ministry says none of the passengers claimed the suitcase during the Feb. 16 search.
Experts verified the artwork as Degas’ “Les Choristes” (“The Chorus Singers“), which depicts a scene from Mozart’s opera “Don Giovanni.”
The painting was stolen from a Marseille museum in 2009 while on loan from Paris’ Musee d’Orsay.
French Culture Minister Francoise Nyssen said she was delighted by the recovery of a work “whose disappearance represented a heavy loss for the French impressionist heritage.”

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