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Belgium wants Rubens painting back

Nov. 10, 2011 at 2:32 PM

BRUSSELS, Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Belgium says it wants a French museum to return a Rubens oil painting stolen more than 200 years ago during the French Revolution.

The painting by Flemish master Peter Paul Rubens, "The Triumph of Judas Maccabeus," was taken from the Tournai cathedral. It was created in 1635 for the bishop of Tournai, Radio France Internationale reported.

In Belgium Wednesday, French-speaking parliamentarians passed a resolution calling for the government "to undertake all useful steps to negotiate with France the restitution to the Tournai cathedral of Rubens' work 'The Triumph of Judas Maccabeus,'" RFI said.

French troops seized the painting and another Rubens work in 1794. Napoleon Bonaparte sent the painting to Nantes in Western France in 1801, where it is still in the municipal museum.

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