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Last Updated: Friday, 22 June 2007, 11:46 GMT 12:46 UK
Missing Magritte painting located
Les Reflets du Temps by Rene Magritte (detail)
The painting is believed to be worth 350,000
A painting by Rene Magritte valued at 350,000 and stolen last year from a south London storeroom has been recovered.

A member of the public contacted the Art & Antiques Unit of the Metropolitan Police on Thursday to say he thought he had found the painting.

The 1927 picture Les Reflets du Temps had been reported missing from storage in August 2006.

The man had checked the painting against the London Stolen Art Database.

The picture, which features a surrealist scene of a beach, sea and hat, is being kept by the Art & Antiques Unit while they investigate its disappearance, and will be returned to its owner, police said.

Born in Lessines, Belgium in 1898
Moves to Paris in 1927 to become leading light of the Surrealist movement
His work often features men in bowler hats, apples and pipes
Former Beatle Sir Paul McCartney is an avid collector

Det Supt Vernon Rapley, head of the unit, said: "For anyone considering buying art, antiquities or cultural property the database is an invaluable resource to help buyers check that they aren't being sold stolen items.

"I am really pleased that the database has enabled this Magritte to be found so that the victim can have it returned to them."

The Art & Antiques Unit stores details and images of some 58,000 pieces of stolen art.

Rene Magritte, who died in 1967, was one of the best known artists of the 20th Century, creating dream-like surreal images which have become iconic.

Born in Belgium in 1898, Magritte became a leading members of the surrealist art community in Paris in the 1920s.

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