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Renoir painting stolen at Vienna auction house

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Renoir painting stolen at Vienna auction house

the Austrian auction house Dorotheum in Vienna April 28, 2014
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Police in Austria are looking for three suspects after a painting by Pierre August Renoir worth €160,000 was snatched from its frame at a Vienna auction house where it was being exhibited.

The French impressionist's "Golfe, mer, falaises vertes" painting was stolen on Monday evening while it was on display at the Dorotheum auction house, police said.

Authorities have released pictures of three suspects taken from security-camera footage.

"The men left the site through different exists and fled," police said in a statement, adding that the men were "evidently professional."

Estimated to be worth between €120,000 and €160,000, the painting was scheduled to go under the hammer on Wednesday evening.

The 1895 oil on canvas is one of the small, lesser-known painting by the prolific French painter.

Depicting a sea-side landscape, "Golfe, mer, falaises vertes" had been held in a private collection since 1996 after it was sold at Sotheby's for $56,538 (€49,639), according to Artnet.