Rubens painting stolen in Belgium found in Greece: officials

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A 1618 painting by Flemish master Peter Paul Rubens that was stolen in Belgium a decade ago has been found in Greece, officials said on Thursday.

"Concerted efforts by police and culture ministry services led to the recovery of a particularly important painting by Peter Paul Rubens, dated to 1618," the culture ministry said in a statement.

"The painting had been stolen from a museum in Belgium in 2001," it said, adding that two Greeks were arrested in connection with the case.

Neither the painting nor the museum were further identified pending a full presentation by authorities, the ministry said.

But a police source said the work of art depicted a boar hunt and was genuine.

He added that the two suspects, a man and a woman, were being detained on suspicion of possessing stolen goods but were not believed to be the painting's original thieves.

In a separate case, the ministry said another six men had been arrested after three prehistoric bronze items were found in their possession, while police on the island of Lesbos confiscated a number of prehistoric fossils from travellers at the island's airport.

© 2011 AFP

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