Edgar Degas’ impressionist picture ‘Les Choristes’ (The Chorus Singers) was stolen while it was on loan to The Musée Cantini in Marseille in 2009 from Musee d'Orsay in Paris.

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French customs officers found the artwork on a bus in Marne-la-Vallee, a town on the outskirts of Paris. It is reported that the officers found the artwork in a suitcase in the luggage compartment on February 16 during a random search. It is not clear if they were searching the bus following a tip-off.

The ministry said no passengers claimed the suitcase during the search.

In the painting Degas (1834-1917) depicts a scene from Mozart's opera Don Giovanni. French culture minister Francoise Nyssen had described its disappearance as “a heavy loss for the French impressionist heritage”.

It is estimated to be valued at around €800,000.