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Renoir Found At Flea Market May Be Real, But It's Also Stolen

Turns out there's a bigger story behind the Renoir painting purchased for $7 a couple of years ago at a West Virginia flea market — a mystery, and an alleged theft, in fact.

A reporter from The Washington Post discovered evidence that the small painting — "Paysage Bords de Seine," or "Landscape on the Banks of the Seine" by French Impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir — was stolen from the Baltimore Museum of Art more than six decades ago.

Documents show that the museum had the painting — on loan from its owner, Baltimore art collector Saidie May — in its possession from 1937 until at least 1949. When May died in 1951, the painting was bequeathed to the museum. It vanished on Nov. 17, 1951.

The Renoir — which sat untouched in a box until its new owner's mother suggested she have it authenticated — was supposed to go on auction this weekend in Virginia. That event has been postponed, and the FBI is investigating.

So it looks like there may not be a lucrative ending to this story, as there was for a similar saga in North Carolina. Beth Feeback, an artist who specializes in cat portraits, was planning to paint over an abstract painting she bought at a Goodwill store for $9.99 — but her friends urged her to make sure it wasn't valuable. Turns out it was, and it fetched more than $27,000 at auction.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Barbershop: UofL Basketball Ban, Football Concussions And The NFL Women's Summit

ESPN contributor Kevin Blackistone, Bloomberg View's Kavitha Davidson and The Washington Post's Wesley Lowery talk about the UofL basketball team, public opinion of the NFL, and women in sports.
NPR

After Introducing Changes, Keurig Sales Continue To Fall

Despite America's high coffee consumption, Keurig reported disappointing sales this week. Even during its popular holiday selling period, the numbers haven't perked up in recent years.
NPR

On The Clock: Rubio Gets The Most Talking Time In Tonight's Debate

It was the last debate before the New Hampshire primary and Donald Trump was back onstage. Which GOP candidate ended up with the most talking time?
NPR

How Limited Internet Access Can Subtract From Kids' Education

Smartphones are often credited with helping bridge the "digital divide" between people who do and don't have Internet access at home. But is mobile Internet enough for a family with a kid in school?

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