WASHINGTON — The FBI has added a Renoir to its global gallery of major art thefts, a year after it was stolen from a private home in Texas, the US federal law enforcement agency said Tuesday.
"Madeleine Leaning on Her Elbow with Flowers in Her Hair," thought to be worth $1 million, was seized by a lone armed burglar wearing a ski mask in Houston on September 8, 2011.
Its addition to the Top Ten Art Crimes list, plus a reward of up to $50,000, will hopefully prompt its return, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said in a statement.
"Our goal is to provide information about this theft to the widest audience possible," said Bonnie Magness-Gardiner, who manages the FBI's art theft program.
French Impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir painted "Madeleine" in 1918, a year before his death at the age of 78, and signed the oil portrait in the lower right corner.
The FBI created its Top Ten Arts Crimes list in 2005, and since then it says six paintings -- including another Renoir -- and a sculpture have been recovered.
The list includes artifacts stolen from the National Museum in Baghdad during the US-led invasion of Iraq, three Rembrandts from the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum in Boston, and two paintings from the Vincent Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam.
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