Stolen Degas Work Revealed as Stolen Before Auction

“Blanchisseuses souffrant des dents” by Edgar Degas, stolen in 1973

This work was recognized by a an individual from Le Havre France as a painting which had been stolen in 1973. The individual recognized the long-missing painting in Sotheby’s auction catalogue.  It was slated for sale today before the auction house withdrew it. The French Culture Ministry says that it will negotiate the return of the work, and that the seller “seems to be of good faith”. The case speaks to the difficulty with multiple stolen art databases. The painting is apparently on a museum data list in France, but it is unclear from the initial reports whether the work was reported to the Art Loss Register, the leading stolen art database.

  1. Stolen Degas painting resurfaces at Sotheby’s auction, AFP, November 3, 2010, http://ph.news.yahoo.com/afp/20101103/ten-france-us-art-painting-auction-degas-1dc2b55.html (last visited Nov 3, 2010).
  2. Stolen Degas painting discovered at New York auction, RFI, November 3, 2010, http://www.english.rfi.fr/americas/20101103-stolen-degas-painting-discovered-new-york-auction (last visited Nov 3, 2010).
Questions or Comments? Email me at derek.fincham@gmail.com

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