Flea market Renoir allegedly stolen

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The highly anticipated auction of a painting believed to be a Renoir and purchased for $7 at a West Virginia flea market has been canceled, after evidence surfaced this week that the piece was stolen from the Baltimore Museum of Art decades ago.

An FBI investigation is now under way, according to the museum director Doreen Bolger, who said museum officials are trying to learn why the painting does not appear on a worldwide registry of stolen and lost art.

The discovery of the theft was made after a Washington Post reporter uncovered documents in the museum’s library proving that the institution had the painting from 1937 up until at least 1949. Museum officials then searched their archives, where they found paperwork showing that the Impressionist work, “Paysage Bords de Seine,” or “Landscape on the Banks of the Seine,” was pilfered from their building nearly 61 years ago...

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