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Stolen Matisse painting worth $3.74m returned to Venezuela after more than a decade

Published on Jul 8, 2014 9:31 AM
 
A box containing a painting of French master Henri Matisse, known as "Odalisque in Red Pants" (Odalisque a la Culotte Rouge), arrives at Maiquetia International Airport in Caracas on July 7, 2014. A painting believed to be a 1925 work by French artist Henri Matisse worth around US$3 million (S$3.74 million) was returned to Venezuela from the United States on Monday more than a decade after it was stolen from a museum in Caracas, Venezuela's government said. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

CARACAS (REUTERS) - A painting believed to be a 1925 work by French artist Henri Matisse worth around US$3 million (S$3.74 million) was returned to Venezuela from the United States on Monday more than a decade after it was stolen from a museum in Caracas, Venezuela's government said.

The "Odalisque in Red Pants" (Odalisque a la culotte rouge)is thought to have been stolen from the Caracas Museum of Contemporary Art in 2002 but its disappearance went unnoticed for some time because the thieves put a fake in its place.

"It's generally well preserved," Culture Minister Fidel Barbarito told local television from Caracas airport where a white box containing the painting was shown upon arrival after a court in south Florida authorised its return.

"This is another achievement of the Bolivarian revolution, of a government in touch with the arts," the minister said, referring to the country's 15-year-old socialist government that began in 1999 with the election of the late Hugo Chavez.

 
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