US Homeland Security has returned a Degas painting, “Blanchisseuses Souffrant Des Dents” (Laundrywoman with an Aching Tooth), to the acting French ambassador. The painting was stolen in 1973 from Musée Malraux in Le Havre in Normandy, and had been missing since. Last October, the painting appeared in a Sotheby’s New York catalogue for an auction of Impressionist art.
INTERPOL saw the painting in the auction catalogue and alerted Homeland Security in New York. Markings on the back of the painting, including inventory marks by the Louvre, confirmed INTERPOL’s suspicion that it was indeed the stolen Degas.
In other cultural property law news:
- The US officially extended the bilateral agreement with Italy, which imposes import restrictions on certain categories of archaeological material from Italy; and
- Zahi Hawass criticizes the U.S.’ failure to properly care for Cleopatra’s Needle, a 1869 gift from Egypt to the U.S., now in New York’s Central Park (hat tip: Derek Fincham).