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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 May, 2004, 08:33 GMT 09:33 UK
Picasso missing from Paris museum
Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris
The Pompidou Centre was restoring the painting before it went on loan
A Pablo Picasso painting valued at $3m has apparently been stolen from a workshop belonging to the Pompidou Centre in Paris, French police say.

Nature morte a la charlotte, a small Cubist work completed in 1924, was last seen in a restoration studio at the workshop on 12 January.

It was found to be missing on Friday.

"They have searched high and low, and now the Pompidou Centre thinks it must have been stolen," a police officer told the AFP news agency.

"That is certainly the theory we are working under," he added.

An official from the museum said the painting was unsellable because it was too well known.

The still life in shades of brown and blue was being restored before going on loan to a museum in northern France.

One of Picasso's earlier paintings, Garcon a la Pipe, was sold to at Sotheby's in New York earlier this month for $104m (58m), making it the most expensive painting in the world.


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