Renoir painting stolen before auction near Paris

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Image copyright EPA Image caption Pierre-Auguste Renoir was one of the leading Impressionist painters (stolen piece not pictured)

A small oil painting by French Impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir has been stolen from a sale room near Paris, the day before it was due to go up for auction.

The piece was on display ahead of the auction in Saint-Germain-en-Laye when it was removed on Saturday.

It had an estimated sale price of between €25,000 and €30,000 (£22,000 and £26,500; $29,500 and $35,500).

Police hope surveillance footage will provide clues about the theft.

Measuring just 14cm by 12.2cm (5.5ins by 4.5ins), the Portrait d'une Jeune Fille Blonde (Portrait of a Blonde Young Girl) includes the initials AR in the top left corner.

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