In December 2009, a small painting by Edgar Degas was quietly stolen from the Cantini museum in Marseille, France. Museum staff discovered Les Choristes was missing when they arrived in the morning, and the prosecutor suggested it could be an inside job because the painting had been unscrewed from the wall and there was no evidence of a break-in. An investigation was launched, but nine years went by and the 1877 painting — worth an estimated $1 million — wasn't seen again.
That was until last Friday, when French customs agents happened to check a bus parked at a highway stop about 18 miles east of Paris. The officers opened a suitcase in the luggage compartment, and there it was: vibrant pastels in red, orange, and yellow, depicting a chorus from the opera Don Juan. In the lower left hand corner: Degas' signature. The agents asked the bus passengers who owned the suitcase. No one claimed it.