$7 Flea Market Painting is Stolen Renoir

Posted September 27th, 2012 at 6:30 pm (UTC-5)
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A painting bought in a West Virginia flea market for $7 along with a toy doll and a plastic cow turns out to be a stolen Renoir worth at least $75,000.

The FBI is investigating how the valuable piece of art wound up in a roadside rummage sale in the hills of West Virginia.

The painting titled Landscape on the Banks of the Seine was on loan to the Baltimore Museum of Art when it disappeared from the gallery in 1951.

The woman who bought it from the flea market two years ago suspected it may be valuable. She turned it over to an auction house which could not find it on a global list of stolen artwork.

But a reporter from The Washington Post newspaper uncovered museum documents verifying that the painting was illegally removed from the building.

The auction house has put the sale on hold until the FBI confirms who is the rightful owner.