06/06/2013 12:54 pm ET

Baltimore Museum Of Art Argues In Court Papers For Return Of ‘Flea Market' Renoir


The Baltimore Museum of Art argued in federal court this week that a disputed Renoir supposedly found at a flea market by a Loudoun County driving teacher legally belongs to the 99-year-old institution.

In documents filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, the BMA asserted that no one but the museum can legally own the Renoir because the painting was pilfered while on exhibit there in 1951. Even if someone had purchased the Renoir without knowing that it had been stolen, the piece legally must be returned to the BMA, the museum argued.

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