US judge hears claims on Renoir painting's ownership; woman maintains she bought it for $7 - InfoNews

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US judge hears claims on Renoir painting's ownership; woman maintains she bought it for $7

FILE - This file image released by Potomack Company shows an apparently original painting by French impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir that was acquired by a woman from Virginia who stopped at a flea market in West Virginia and paid $7 for a box of trinkets that included the painting. A federal judge will hear arguments Wednesday Jan. 10, 2014 on whether the napkin-sized painting by French impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir should go to a Baltimore museum or a Virginia woman. (AP Photo/Potomack Company, File)
January 10, 2014 - 5:03 AM

ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A U.S. federal judge will hear arguments on whether a napkin-sized painting by French impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir should go to a museum or a woman who says she bought it at a flea market for $7.

Marcia "Martha" Fuqua had planned to sell the painting at auction, but the sale was cancelled after the Baltimore Museum of Art said the painting was stolen more than 60 years ago. The FBI seized the painting in 2012 and has held it while the court sorts through competing claims.

Fuqua's story that she bought the painting in 2009 has since been contradicted by others.

The museum says it's the rightful owner no matter how Fuqua acquired it. Fuqua says the museum's documentation of the theft is legally inadmissible.

Arguments are scheduled for Friday morning.

News from © The Associated Press, 2014
The Associated Press

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