ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that a napkin-sized painting by French impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir should be returned to a Baltimore museum from which it was stolen years ago. A Virginia woman claimed she bought it at a flea market for $7.
Judge Leonie Brinkema (LAY’-eh-nee BRIHNK’-eh-mah) on Friday rejected a claim of ownership from the woman who said she bought it in 2009. Brinkema says there’s overwhelming evidence that the painting was stolen from the Baltimore Museum of Art in 1951.
Marcia “Martha” Fuqua had planned to sell the painting at auction, but the sale was canceled after the museum said the painting was stolen. The FBI seized the painting in 2012.
Fuqua’s story has since been contradicted by others.