A painting by legendary artist PIERRE-AUGUSTE RENOIR has been stolen from a Parisian auction house just days before being sold.

The work, titled TETE DE FILLETTE (YOUNG GIRL'S HEAD), is said to be worth $179,000 (GBP138,000).

The TAJAN auction house reported it missing on Tuesday (29MAR05), but the incident is shrouded in mystery as it is unsure as to when exactly it was snatched, and there were no signs of a break-in.

The oil-on-canvas work of art, which belonged to a lawyer, was due for auction today (31MAR05).

31/03/2005 17:39