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Wednesday, 23 January, 2002, 09:19 GMT
Chagall ransom work 'found'
Study for Over Vitebsk
The painting was a draft for a later work
A painting thought to be a Marc Chagall work stolen from the Jewish Museum in New York last year has been found at a postal facility in Kansas.

The Russian painter's Study for Over Vitebsk, said to be worth $1m (690,000), was taken after a party at the museum in June and later held for ransom.

A group calling itself the International Committee for Art and Peace later said the painting would be returned only after the Israelis and Palestinians made peace.

The work was found when a package which was declared undeliverable was opened for identification.

The FBI were called in to recover the painting.

Draft

The 1914 painting, which had been at the New York museum on loan from a private collection in Russia, shows an old man floating above a village with a walking stick and beggar's sack.

It was a draft for a larger, similar piece called Over Vitebsk done the same year.

The painting is now being sent to New York for further authentication.

Last year the museum offered a $25,000 (17,000) reward for the recovery of the work.

The painting was discovered missing from the Manhattan museum after a cocktail party for 200 guests.

It was first treated as an ordinary art theft but events took a strange turn when the museum received a letter from an unheard of group saying the price for the painting's return was peace in the Middle East.

See also:

06 Jul 98 | Entertainment
Chagall and the art of passion and drama
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