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OFFBEAT

Four artworks from French parliament vanish without trace

Four works of art have vanished from the walls of France's national assembly, parliamentary officials said Wednesday, prompting a police investigation to track them down.

Four artworks from French parliament vanish without trace
Photo: AFP

Confirming a report by the Canard Enchaine investigative newspaper, the speaker's office said the four artworks had been discovered missing after an annual inventory at the end of last year.

“Searches up until now have not allowed us to locate them,” the office said, adding the artworks had been “hanging on the walls of offices” in the
lower house of parliament on the southern bank of the River Seine in Paris.

They include a piece by the Greek artist Takis which belongs to France's National Contemporary Art Fund, paintings by French modern artists Herve
Telemaque and Richard Texier, and an engraving by an unknown artist.

A legal complaint has been filed and a police source told AFP that investigators from the Banditry Repression Brigade in Paris, which handles art
theft, have taken up the case.

OFFBEAT

France’s mystery rooftop panther stolen from zoo

A black panther rescued from rooftops near the northern city of Lille last week has been stolen from the zoo where it was taken after capture, officials said.

France's mystery rooftop panther stolen from zoo
Photo: AFP/ Sapeurs Pompiers du Nord

The feline was seized overnight from the zoo in Maubeuge near the Belgian border, the city's mayor, Arnaud Decagny, told AFP on Tuesday.

“This animal was the only target,” Decagny said, adding that “considerable efforts” were made to force locks and avoid security systems.

Zoo personnel are worried about the young panther's health, “which is rather delicate because he lacks strength,” the mayor added, saying the animal was just a few months old and weighed between 25 and 30kg.

The panther after its capture. Photo League Protectrice des Animaux de la Nord de France/AFP

The panther was going to be transferred to a centre specialised in rehabilitating wild animals that had been domesticated.

Firefighters caught the cat last Wednesday as it roamed rooftops in Armentieres after escaping through the window of a private apartment believed to have been its home.

The panther's owner is thought to have escaped through the same window, for fear of being charged with illegally harbouring a wild animal.

Police have not located the fugitive owner, who could face charges of endangering the public, which is punishable by up to a year in prison and €15,000 in fines, Decagny said.

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