Edgar Degas’s painting, entitled Les Blanchisseuses ou Blanchisseusessouffrant des dents, oil on canvas of 16 x 21 cm, deposited by the State in 1961 at the Malraux Museum of Le Havre and stolen in this same museum in December 1973, was found in the United States-United thanks to the wise eye of a French art lover who spotted it in a Sotheby’s sales catalog in New York.After confirmation of its membership in the national collections established by the Ministry of Culture and Communication, In particular, thanks to an inventory number on the reverse of the canvas, Sotheby’s withdrew the table from the sale scheduled for December 3.

The Minister of Culture and Communication would like to thank
the amateur who reported the work and the company Sotheby’s, for its effectiveness
mediation. He also warmly thanks the American holder, who
had inherited this work at the death of his father in 2008, to have consented to
make the table without counterparties and give it full recognition
for this fine gesture in favour of French museums.

The Minister finally welcomes the exemplary action of the American authorities,
Interpol Customs, Justice and Liaison Office, who worked to enable
the rapid restitution of this work in close cooperation with the
museums of France of the Directorate-General for Heritage and the Central Office
fight against trafficking in cultural property – OCBC. The happy outcome
of the situation is a success shared by all the actors involved.

The table has just been provided by Immigration and Customs
(U.S. Immigration and Custioms Enforcement) to the State through
the Embassy of France in the United States, whose competition in this case has
been extremely valuable.

On the occasion of the official return of the painting to the national territory, Frédéric
Mitterrand will preside over a ceremony at the Ministry of
Culture and Communication, before the table finds the
museum tops.