France confirms authenticity of stolen Degas painting found on bus

"Les Choristes", Edgar Degas. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Feb. 24 (UPI) — A painting found in a suitcase was confirmed to be a stolen work by French painter Edgar Degas, French authorities said Friday.

The small pastel painting, “Les Choristes,” depicts singers in an opera chorus, and was painted in the Impressionist style by Degas in 1877. It was stolen from Marseilles’ Cantini art gallery in 2009, when it was on loan from Paris’ Musee d’ Orsay, and was missing until it was found Feb. 16 aboard a bus.

Police making random checks on the Ferrieres-en-Brie route near Paris discovered it in a suitcase. None of the riders claimed ownership of the suitcase or the painting within it.

The painting, which belongs to France’s national collection, was sent to the Musee d’Orsay for verification, and on Friday the French Ministry of Culture confirmed its authenticity.

A press statement said Minister Francoise Nyssen and Secretary of Public Action and Accounts Gerald Darmanin are “very pleased” with the recovery of the artwork.

Degas is best known for paintings and sculptures of dancers and is regarded as a major figure in the Impressionist art movement.


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