Europe

Renoir painting stolen before auction near Paris

Visitors look at a painting entitled "Madame Monet et son fils Jean dans le jardin a Argenteuil" (Camille Monet and Her Son Jean in the Garden at Argenteuil) by French artist Pierre Auguste Renoir during the exhibition "Monet Collector. Masterpieces from His Collection" at the Marmottan Monet Museum in Paris, France, 14 September 2017. Image copyright EPA
Image caption Pierre-Auguste Renoir was one of the leading Impressionist painters (stolen piece not pictured)

A small oil painting by French Impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir has been stolen from a sale room near Paris, the day before it was due to go up for auction.

The piece was on display ahead of the auction in Saint-Germain-en-Laye when it was removed on Saturday.

It had an estimated sale price of between €25,000 and €30,000 (£22,000 and £26,500; $29,500 and $35,500).

Police hope surveillance footage will provide clues about the theft.

Measuring just 14cm by 12.2cm (5.5ins by 4.5ins), the Portrait d'une Jeune Fille Blonde (Portrait of a Blonde Young Girl) includes the initials AR in the top left corner.

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