Woman Must Give Back the Renoir She Found in a West Virginia Junk PileS

Remember that lucky woman from Virginia who plucked a Renoir out of a pile of crap at a West Virginia flea market and bought it for a mere seven dollars? Yeah, well, she has to give it back to the Baltimore Museum of Art, from where it was stolen in 1951.

Apparently unfamiliar with the rule "finders keepers," U.S. District Court Judge Leonie M. Brinkema decided on Friday that the painting — supposedly a little something called "Landscape on the Banks of the Seine" that Pierre-Auguste Renoir whipped up for his mistress 135 years ago —still belongs to the Baltimore Museum of Art and that the woman who found it at a flea market will have to hand it over. The painting was loaned to the museum back in 1937, and was reported stolen 14 years later.

The woman who found the painting held onto it for a few years before having it appraised at an auction in Virginia. She might have expected to sell the painting for $75,000 once the auction Once the auction determined its probable provenance, but the Renoir-in-the-rough was soon traced back to the Baltimore Museum, which burst onto the scene like a party-ruining parent to announce that the fun was over.

Image via AP