Renoir Painting Purchased At Flea Market May Have Been Stolen

WASHINGTON (September 27, 2012)--A painting believed to have been done by French impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir that a woman bought for $7 at a flea market may have been stolen from a museum six decades ago.

An auction house put the sale of the painting on hold after a Washington Post reporter discovered documents in the Baltimore Museum of Art's library that show the painting was there from 1937 until 1949.

Museum officials then found paperwork showing "Paysage Bords de Seine" was stolen in 1951.

Museum Director Doreen Bolger told the Post Thursday the FBI is investigating.

A Virginia woman bought the painting for at a West Virginia flea market and took it to the Potomack Co. auction house in Alexandria, Va.

The auction was set for Saturday.


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