Stolen Munnings found 13 years on

  • A stolen Munnings has been recovered, 13 years after it went missing.

    The oil painting, worth over $1m (£694,000), depicts the late Belle Baruch, daughter of financier and US presidential adviser Bernard Baruch, on her showjumper Souriant III.

    The painting was reported stolen from the Baruch Foundation in Georgetown, United States, in 2003.

    It was recently traced at an auction house in another state.

    The equestrian painting, which has featured on the Antiques Roadshow, measures 39 x 36 inches.

    It was stolen along with two studies of Miss Baruch, which Sir Alfred Munnings painted in preparation for the commissioned piece.

    All three works have been returned to the foundation.

    Seven John James Audubon prints were also recovered. These had been bought by Miss Baruch for $550 (£380) in the 1930s. The current value of each of these prints now ranges from $45,000 (£31,000) to $85,000 (£59,000).

    The Baruch Foundation’s executive director George Chastain said the works were found in varying conditions, ranging from very good to poor. They are now undergoing forensic and technical examination.

    The foundation believes much of the artwork can be restored.

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    “[When the works were found] we were relieved and happy because we never lost hope that our paintings would be seen again,” said Mr Chastain.

    “Thanks to the assistance and persistence of Matt Jacobson of the FBI’s Greenville office and assistant United States attorney Rhett DeHart, they will be restored to their rightful place.”

    Widely regarded as one of the foremost equestrian painters of the 20th century, Munnings’ work sells for huge prices internationally.

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