VIENNA – Vienna police are searching for three unidentified men linked to the theft of a canvas by renowned French Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir stolen from a distinguished Austrian auction house before it was set to go under the hammer on Wednesday.
Vienna police released a statement saying a search for three unidentified men was underway for the theft on Monday of a Renoir painting which hung on the second floor of the Dorotheum gallery auction house.
The statement added the individuals appeared to be professionals and had used various different exits to make their escape.
Police published security camera footage of the alleged thieves recorded during the art heist.
Doris Krumpl, a spokesperson for The Dorotheum gallery established in 1707, had confirmed earlier Wednesday that a painting had gone missing but refused to disclose any more information.
However, media were quick to speculate after the auction house removed Renoir’s “Gulf, sea, green cliffs” from its catalog and website.
“Gulf, sea, green cliffs” (1895), a 27 ( 10.6 inches) by 40 centimeter oil painting valued at somewhere between 120,000 ($135, 359) and 160,000 euros was due to have gone under the hammer at Wednesday’s “Modern Art” auction alongside another Renoir canvas and various other paintings by Pablo Picasso, Henri Rousseau, Marc Chagall and Gustav Klimt, among others.