Page last updated at 15:32 GMT, Friday, 1 January 2010

Man arrested over missing Degas

The Chorus by Edgar Degas
Degas' Les Choristes dates from around 1876

Police have arrested a man over the theft of an artwork by the Impressionist artist Edgar Degas from a museum in Marseilles.

A judicial official said "an employee of the museum, a night watchman" had been arrested on Thursday.

A security guard noticed Les Choristes (The Chorus) - on loan from the Musee d'Orsay in Paris - was missing from the city's Cantini Museum on 31 December.

Public prosecutor Jacques Dallest said there were no signs of a break-in.

A colourful depiction of a group of male singers performing on stage, France's national museum service valued the pastel artwork at £710,000.

The diminutive work - measuring just 32 by 27 centimetres (13 by 10 inches) - formed part of an exhibition featuring some 20 works by the 19th century artist.

The exhibition was due to come an end on 3 January before touring Italy and Canada.

Earlier this year, Degas' bronze sculpture of a young female dancer sold at auction in London for £13.3m.



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