Stolen painting by French impressionist Edgar Degas found on bus in France

PHOTO: This photo taken on Feb. 22, 2018, shows a stolen painting by French painter Edgar Degas. French customs have discovered an original Impressionist masterpiece by Edgar Degas stolen in 2009 - in a suitcase on a bus.PlayMarc Bonodot/French Customs via AP
WATCH Stolen painting by French impressionist Edgar Degas found on bus in France

A painting by French impressionist Edgar Degas has been located for the first time since it was stolen from a Marseille museum in 2009.

The 1877 piece "Les Choristes" -- which translates to "The Chorus Singer" -- was found inside a suitcase on a bus in Marne-la-Vallee, a French town located about 15 miles east of Paris, The Associated Press reported.

The French Culture Ministry announced Friday that customs agents were surprised to find the work, which bears the signature "Degas" after no one claimed the suitcase last week, according to the AP.

The "disappearance represented a heavy loss for the French impressionist heritage," said French Culture Minister Francoise Nyssen after it was recovered.

The colorful piece depicts singers in a scene of the opera "Don Juan." It was on loan from Paris' Musee d'Orsay and caused a local media frenzy when it was stolen overnight from the Cantini Museum in Marseille in December 2009.

PHOTO: Journalists wait for information at the entrance of Cantini Museum in Marseille, southern France, Dec. 31, 2009, after a painting by 19th century artist Edgar Degas worth of 800,000 euros was stolen overnight.Gerard Julien/AFP/Getty Images
Journalists wait for information at the entrance of Cantini Museum in Marseille, southern France, Dec. 31, 2009, after a painting by 19th century artist Edgar Degas worth of 800,000 euros was stolen overnight.

The piece is reportedly worth about $1 million.

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