Stolen bronze bust of Auguste Rodin found in Fance

24 June 2012

On Saturday a bronze bust of Auguste Rodin by sculptor Camille Claudel has been found in an antique shop near Lyon.

The bust was stolen 13 years ago from the Guéret art and archaeology museum near Clermont-Ferrand in France.

Looking grizzled with a furrowed brow and full beard, the rare, signed bronze portrait of the French sculptor is worth up to one million euros (£800,000 or $1.25 million). The relationship between the two sculptors is considered to be one of the most artistically fruitful and passionate turn-of-the-century love affairs. Rodin and Claudel made a number of sculptures of each other.

French detectives found the bust inside the truck of an antique seller who had been under surveillance for weeks in connection to a series of recent burglaries in the Lyon region. He was arrested with another man on June 19 in the town of Montbrison, 60 km east of Lyon. The bust, as well as other art objects, are now being investigated by the French unit specialising in stolen art, the OCBC.

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