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Picasso, Rousseau paintings stolen from private collection

French police have reported the theft of dozens of paintings, including works by Pablo Picasso (pictured) and Henri Rousseau, from a private residence in La Cadière d'Azur on the French Riviera.

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AFP - Around 30 paintings, including works by Picasso and Rousseau, valued at around a million euros (1.4 million dollars), have been stolen from a private villa in the south of France, police said Saturday.

But a Modigliani initially believed to be part of the haul has since been found, police in Toulon said.

The villa's French owner was holidaying in Sweden at the time of the break-in, which was discovered by the caretaker on Thursday afternoon.

Police said the owner had returned home to carry out an inventory of his collection to establish the exact loss.

The reported burglary in La Cadiere d'Azur comes after a pastel by Degas disappeared from the Cantini museum in Marseille on New Year's Eve. The 1877 pastel worth 800,000 euros had been lent for an exhibition by Paris' Orsay museum.

The painting had been unscrewed from the wall and there was no evidence of a break-in, police said, indicating the thief or thieves knew how to get round the museum's security system.

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