November 28, 2018 / 2:05 PM / 17 days ago

Renoir stolen from Vienna auction house, three suspects sought

FILE PHOTO: A man enters the Austrian auction house Dorotheum in Vienna April 28, 2014. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

VIENNA (Reuters) - Austrian police are searching for three suspects after a painting by Pierre Auguste Renoir valued at up to 160,000 euros ($180,600) was stolen from a Vienna auction house during opening hours.

“Golfe, mer, falaises vertes”, a lesser-known landscape by the prolific French impressionist, was taken from its frame on Monday evening while it was on display ahead of a planned sale at the Dorotheum auction house, police said.

“The men left the site through different exits and fled,” Vienna police said in a statement. They released pictures of the three suspects taken from security-camera footage, adding that they were “evidently professional”.

The Dorotheum, Vienna’s best-known auction house in the heart of the city, confirmed that a theft had taken place but declined to provide further details.

The painting was estimated at 120,000 to 160,000 euros and had been due to go under the hammer on Wednesday evening.

(This story corrects day auction had been due to be held on to Wednesday from Tuesday, paragraph 5)

Reporting by Francois Murphy; Editing by Matthew Mpoke Bigg

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