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Art thief suspects caught on CCTV after Renoir painting was taken from frame at Vienna auction house

These are the three men police are hunting after a painting by Pierre Auguste Renoir was stolen from an auction house in Austria days before it was due to be sold.

The landscape, ‘Golfe, mer, falaises vertes’, was taken from its frame while it was on display ahead of a planned sale at the Dorotheum auction house in the capital, Vienna.

Police have launched a hunt for three suspects after the theft of the French impressionist’s 1895 work, valued at 160,000 euro (£141,000).

CCTV images show three men police are hunting after a painting by Pierre Auguste Renoir was stolen from an auction house in Austria days before it was due to be sold

CCTV images show three men police are hunting after a painting by Pierre Auguste Renoir was stolen from an auction house in Austria days before it was due to be sold

The  images show three men, two of them carrying large shopping bags. It is unclear whether the Renoir painting was hidden in either of the bags

The  images show three men, two of them carrying large shopping bags. It is unclear whether the Renoir painting was hidden in either of the bags

The landscape, 'Golfe, mer, falaises vertes' (pictured), was taken from its frame while it was on display ahead of a planned sale at the Dorotheum auction house in the capital, Vienna

The landscape, ‘Golfe, mer, falaises vertes’ (pictured), was taken from its frame while it was on display ahead of a planned sale at the Dorotheum auction house in the capital, Vienna

Officers say they were ‘evidently professional’ and had left the site through different exits before fleeing during opening hours on Monday.

CCTV images show three men, two of them carrying large shopping bags. It is unclear whether the Renoir painting was hidden in either of the bags.

Austrian public broadcaster ORF reported that an unknown thief had walked into the building, removed the painting from the wall and walked off with it Monday.

The 27ins by 40ins painting was estimated at 120,000 to 160,000 euros and had been due to go under the hammer on Tuesday evening but has now been removed from the Dorotheum’s website.

A private collector owned the 1895 work by Renoir (pictured)

A private collector owned the 1895 work by Renoir (pictured)

According to the provenance data in the auction catalogue, the picture belongs to a European private collector who had bought it in 1996 at Sotheby’s in London for around £35,000, Der Standard reports.

The Dorotheum, Vienna’s best-known auction house in the heart of the city, confirmed that a theft had taken place.

It said there was ‘comprehensive security’ in the building and that works were insured.

The auction house pointed to its strong record of keeping art safe despite having ‘about 250,000 auction objects a year’.

 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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