Thieves Take Renoir Painting Off Wall Just Prior to Auction in Vienna

Suspects shown in CCTV stills, provided by Vienna police.
Suspects shown in CCTV stills, provided by Vienna police.
(Vienna Police)

Three middle-aged men entered an auction house in Vienna and removed a painting by French impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir from a wall on Monday, according to a police statement. The artwork was displayed on the second floor for an upcoming sale at the Dorotheum auction house.

Each thief escaped through a different exit. The incident took just minutes, with the artwork removed from its frame. Police have released images of the suspects.

Dorotheum previously had listed online a Renoir painting from 1895 titled "Golfe, Mer, Falaises Vertes," with a pre-sale estimate of between 120,000 euros and 160,000 euros ($136,000-$181,000).

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