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Matisse painting stolen in 1987 recovered in UK

The Associated Press, Tuesday, January 8, 2013, 6:18am (PST)

LONDON (AP) — A painting by Henri Matisse has been recovered a quarter century after it was stolen from a Swedish museum by a sledgehammer-wielding thief.

The Art Loss Register, which tracks stolen, missing and looted art, says "Le Jardin" was found when a British dealer checked the picture against the group's database before selling it.

Christopher Marinello, a lawyer working with the London-based register, said British dealer Charles Roberts said he have acquired the painting from an elderly collector in Poland.

Marinello said Tuesday the painting, valued at about $1 million, would be returned to Stockholm's Moderna Museet.

The painting was snatched from the gallery in May 1987.

Marinello said it was up to Swedish police to decide whether to try to track down the thieves.

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