Judge rules Renoir painting bought at flea market must be returned to museum

By Kyle Johnson,

A U.S. District judge ruled that the Pierre-Auguste Renoir painting a woman purchased at a garage sale four years ago must be returned to the museum where it was stolen from.

The woman bought the painting in 2010 for $7 while visiting a flea market. She claimed she didn't buy the painting because she knew what it was or who it was done by, but rather she was more interested in the frame that it came with at the flea market. Her mother managed to stop her before the painting got tossed.

The painting, Paysage Bords de Seine, was set to go up for auction and it was expected to go for between $75,000 and $150,000.

After getting the painting authenticated by the National Gallery of Art in Washington and a Renoir expert, the Baltimore Museum of Art came forward and wanted the Renoir back, reports CNN.

The museum claims that it was stolen back in 1951 while on loan from the ex-wife of Renoir collector Herbert L. May. The FBI took possession while the courts figured it out and Marcia Fuqua believed that it was rightfully hers.

According to The Associated Press, U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema ruled that the piece should be returned to the museum and did not rule on whether or not he felt there was any truth to the woman's story.

Some did not believe she truly bought the painting at a flea market for only $7, including her brother.

image: Wikimedia Commons

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