Stolen Art Turns Up in Texas, Repatriated to France

Pissarro's "Le Marche aux Poissons" headed back to France

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
    Camille Pissarro's "Le Marché aux Poissons."

    Artwork stolen from a French museum in 1981 and sold in Texas has been returned to France.

    A ceremony was held Wednesday in Washington to return a monotype by impressionist Camille Pissarro, called "Le Marche aux Poissons," (The Fish Market), to the French ambassador, Francois Delattre.

    Investigators believe Emile Guelton, who worked at the Faure Museum in Aix-les-Bains, France, walked out of the museum with the artwork and sold it to a San Antonio gallery in 1985.

    Guelton was never apprehended, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    Purchaser Sharyl Davis of San Antonio in 2003 consigned the 6-by-8-inch artwork to Sotheby's in New York. A pre-auction review determined the item was reported stolen.

    According to ICE, "prior to the auction, the Art Loss Register discovered the stolen work in the auction catalogue and notified Interpol. Interpol passed the information through ICE's Cultural Property, Art and Antiquities Unit to ICE's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) office in New York. ICE HSI special agents in New York then initiated an investigation, and on Nov. 20, 2006, executed a federal seizure warrant and took possession of the monotype."

    Davis in 2010 contested the seizure, but a jury decided the artwork should be repatriated to France.

    The monotype in November was officially forfeited to the U.S., for return to France.