Edgar Degas, The Chorus Singers, 1877. Photo: ABC News.

Stolen Degas Painting Is Found on a Bus in France

A painting by Edgar Degas that was stolen from a museum in Marseille eight years ago has been recovered. The work, titled The Chorus Singers, was found by customs officers who were conducting a random search of a bus at a highway stop in Ferrières-en-Brie, near Paris, on February 16. According to the New York Times, they found the painting in a suitcase in the vehicle’s luggage compartment. The passengers were questioned, but none of them claimed the bag.

The piece dates back to 1877 and features singers on a theater stage. It is estimated to be worth nearly $1 million. An investigation was opened after the Musée Cantini, where it was on display, noticed that the work had been unscrewed from the wall. The authorities found no sign of forced entry into the building. The work had been on loan to the institution from the Musée d’Orsay. Its recovery comes on the heels of the one-hundredth anniversary of Degas’s death.

French culture minister Françoise Nyssen called the theft of the work a “heavy loss for French Impressionist heritage” and said, “We had not heard about it since 2009 and we had all the reasons to be worried about its fate.” The work does not appear to have suffered any damage.