Degas painting missing for 9 years found outside Paris

Frankreich Gemälde von Edgar Degas Les Choristes

Frankreich Gemälde von Edgar Degas Les Choristes

"Les Choristes" was stolen in 2009 during an exhibition in the Cantini Museum, which is located in Marseille.

Customs officials at Ferrières-en-Brie were conducting a random search of the bus luggage compartment on February 16 when they found the work.

Officials said none of the passengers on the bus admitted to owning the work. Officials did not indicate whether they have any leads on who might have put the painting on the bus.

French customs says it handled 71 cases in 2016, seizing more than 10,000 works of art, including coins and artifacts.

The officers opened a suitcase in the luggage compartment, and there it was: pastels in red, orange and yellow, depicting a chorus from the opera Don Juan.

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An investigation was launched, but eight years went by and the 1877 painting - worth an estimated $1 million - wasn't seen again.

The Musée d'Orsay tweeted that it was delighted by the discovery - no doubt very happy to have the unframed canvas back in the fold of its extensive Degas collection.

The stolen painting by French painter Edgar Degas.

Degas, a 19th century master, is most famous for his paintings and sculptures of dancers and is often associated with the Impressionist movement. Its disappearance "represented a heavy loss for the French impressionist heritage", Nyssen said. All were recovered, including Degas' "Count Lepic and his Daughters", which was retrieved with slight damage in 2012.

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