France, England Tussle Over Painting Of Christ

The painting whose title translates to "Christ Carrying the Cross" was completed by French Baroque painter Nicolas Tournier in the 1630s, only to disappear from France in 1818. The canvas turned up in Italy a couple years ago. A gallery in London eventually purchased it and brought it to a showing in Paris. Now the French government is trying to keep the painting saying it was stolen.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

A 17th century painting is at the center of a tussle between France and England today. The painting features a life-sized study of Christ, titled "Christ Carrying the Cross." It was painted by the French Baroque artist Nicolas Tournier in the 1630s, only to disappear from France in 1818. The huge canvas turned up in Italy a couple years ago. A gallery in London purchased it and brought it to a showing in Paris this past weekend.

Now the French government is trying to keep the painting. France says the piece is stolen goods and is claiming it as state property.

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

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