June 24, 2012 / 3:15 PM / 7 years ago

Stolen Rodin bust by Camille Claudel found in France

LYON, France (Reuters) - A bronze bust of Auguste Rodin by sculptor Camille Claudel has been found in an antique shop near Lyon after it was stolen 13 years ago leading to the arrest of two men, police said.

The 8 kg bust, which is valued at around 1 million euros ($1.25 million), was discovered on Saturday during a police investigation into a series of robberies in the region.

The relationship between the two sculptors is considered to be one of the most artistically fruitful and passionate turn-of-the-century love affairs.

Rodin and Claudel made a number of sculptures of each other.

An antiques dealer was spotted loading his van with a suspicious object and arrested on June 19 in Montbrisson, 60 km east of Lyon.

The object turned out to be the Rodin bust, which was stolen in 1999 at the Gueret museum, near Clermont Ferrand in central France.

The judicial investigation was opened by the Lyon public prosecutor to determine how the men got hold of the masterpiece. Police gave no details of the second suspect who was arrested.

($1 = 0.7977 euros)

Reporting by Catherine Lagrange; Writing by Muriel Boselli; Editing by Alison Williams

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