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U.S. to return painting stolen by Nazis to Poland

By Chris Francescani NEW YORK (Reuters) - Just days ahead of the release of a George Clooney film about the search for art plundered during World War Two, U.S. officials announced plans on Wednesday to repatriate to Poland a Johann Conrad Seekatz painting stolen by the Nazis. Officials declined to say more about the painting by the 18th century German artist, known for his military and landscape paintings, but said they hoped the film would bring more attention to art stolen during the war.

Baltimore museum recovers Renoir stolen in 1951

Washington, Jan 13 (EFE).- The Baltimore Museum of Art, or BMA, will soon regain possession of a painting by French impressionist Pierre Auguste Renoir that was stolen in 1951 and taken to an auction house in 2012 by a woman who claimed she bought it for $7 at a flea market, a museum spokeswoman said Monday. "The painting is in good condition," BMA director of communications Annie Mannix Brown said. "The auction house that notified us about the work in 2012 did not express any concerns about its condition."

Baltimore museum recovers Renoir stolen in 1951

Washington, Jan 13 (EFE).- The Baltimore Museum of Art, or BMA, will soon regain possession of a painting by French impressionist Pierre Auguste Renoir that was stolen in 1951 and taken to an auction house in 2012 by a woman who claimed she bought it for $7 at a flea market, a museum spokeswoman said Monday. "The painting is in good condition," BMA director of communications Annie Mannix Brown said. "The auction house that notified us about the work in 2012 did not express any concerns about its condition."

Turkey probes wave of museum art thefts

Turkish police have launched an investigation after the theft of stolen paintings and artefacts worth an estimated $30 million, local media reported on Monday. Police are hunting for about 40 paintings stolen from a state museum in Ankara after recovering another 30 major artworks in a raid in Istanbul last week. Press reports said many of the artworks were believed to have been sold to art collectors, including a number of prominent figures. Officials at the culture ministry and the museum were not immediately available for comment.

How stolen Dutch art fooled even Sotheby's expert eyes

A cunningly disguised stolen work by Dutch contemporary artist Jan Schoonhoven managed to fool experts at the world's largest art broker Sotheby's, who auctioned it in late June for nearly $300,000. Now Dutch police are investigating and questions are being asked how the modern art relief, sculpted in 1969 by one of the country's best-known fine artists, managed to slip through the net of a carefully managed system to end up on a London auction block.

Dutch art heist trial adjourned in Bucharest

A Bucharest court on Tuesday opened and then immediately adjourned the trial of six Romanians charged with a spectacular heist from a Dutch museum, some of whose stolen masterpieces by Monet, Picasso and Gauguin are feared to have been burned. The court president postponed the trial to September 10 to allow time for several legal issues to be examined, including calls for some of the suspects to be released on bail.

Dutch art heist trial set to open in Bucharest

The trial of six Romanians charged with a dramatic theft from a Dutch museum is set to open in Bucharest Tuesday, amid fears the stolen masterpieces by Monet, Picasso and Gauguin may have been destroyed. Five of the accused, including the alleged mastermind of the heist Radu Dogaru, are expected to be present at the hearing. A sixth suspect is still on the run and will be tried in absentia. Dogaru has admitted his guilt, according to his lawyers but investigators are still trying to determine what happened to the paintings.

Six Romanians accused of huge art heist go on trial Tuesday

The trial of six Romanians accused of being behind one of the most spectacular art thefts ever begins in Bucharest on Tuesday amid fears that masterpieces by Monet, Picasso and Gauguin may have been burned and lost forever. The mother of the main suspect told police she had destroyed the paintings by torching them in a stove, a statement she later retracted. The fate of the paintings remains unclear.

Torched masterpiece scandal shocks sleepy Romania village

Residents of the sleepy Romanian village of Carcaliu, on the banks of the Danube, are ill accustomed to international notoriety. But in recent weeks they have been thrust into the global spotlight after it emerged that seven stolen masterpieces including works by Picasso and Monet may have been incinerated there in a desperate attempt by a mother to destroy evidence against her son.

Lloyd's offers million-euro reward for stolen Cannes jewels

Lloyd's of London on Tuesday offered up to one million euros ($1.3 million) for information leading to the recovery of jewels stolen from a Cannes hotel worth an estimated 103 million euros. "A reward of up to 1,000,000 euros pro rata is offered to the first person who provides information which leads to recovery of the goods. Offer subject to certain conditions," the insurer said in a statement.
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