By Hajer M'tiri
PARIS (AA) - A painting by French impressionist Edgar Degas, stolen in 2009, has been found on a bus near Paris, French officials announced Friday.
Les Choristes -- also called Les Figurants -- a pastel painting worth €800,000 ($893,000), is owned by the capital’s Orsay Museum. It was stolen on Dec. 31, 2009 from the Cantini Museum in the Mediterranean port city of Marseille while on loan.
Customs found the painting during a random check on Feb. 16 "concealed in the luggage compartment of a bus parked on the Seine-et-Marne area," said an official statement.
None of the passengers on the bus claimed the artwork, and its authenticity was confirmed by the Orsay.
France's culture minister, Francoise Nyssen, said she was delighted by the recovery of the painting dating from 1877 "whose disappearance represented a heavy loss for the French impressionist heritage."