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Warm Homecoming In Venezuela For $3 Million Matisse Painting Stolen In 2000

  • FILE - This file combo shows the original painting by Henri Matisse titled "Odalisque in Pants," left, next to a fake version that was on display in the Sofia Imber Contemporary Art Museum of Caracas. The original painting was stolen from the museum in 2000, and will be returned to Venezuelan autorities on July 7, 2014, according to Venezuelan Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz. (AP Photo/Sofia Imber Contemporary Art Museum, File)

    FILE - This file combo shows the original painting by Henri Matisse titled "Odalisque in Pants," left, next to a fake version that was on display in the Sofia Imber Contemporary Art Museum of Caracas. The original painting was stolen from the museum in 2000, and will be returned to Venezuelan autorities on July 7, 2014, according to Venezuelan Attorney General Luisa Ortega Diaz. (AP Photo/Sofia Imber Contemporary Art Museum, File)

  • Venezuelan government handlers hold a package containing the painting "Odalisque in Red Pants," by Henri Matisse, stolen more than a decade ago from a museum in Venezuela, at the airport in Caracas, Monday, July 7, 2014. Venezuelan authorities say the 1925 painting was stolen from the Caracas museum in 2000. The original work was swapped out for a copy. It was found in July 2012 when a couple tried to sell it to undercover FBI agents at a hotel in Miami Beach. The two were sent to prison for attempting to sell the stolen work. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

    Venezuelan government handlers hold a package containing the painting "Odalisque in Red Pants," by Henri Matisse, stolen more than a decade ago from a museum in Venezuela, at the airport in Caracas, Monday, July 7, 2014. Venezuelan authorities say the 1925 painting was stolen from the Caracas museum in 2000. The original work was swapped out for a copy. It was found in July 2012 when a couple tried to sell it to undercover FBI agents at a hotel in Miami Beach. The two were sent to prison for attempting to sell the stolen work. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

A painting by Henri Matisse stolen more than a decade ago from a museum in Venezuela made its homecoming Monday.

Handlers held the painting up in front of the stairs of the jet it was flown in on, like an arriving celebrity, while photographers snapped pictures. Officials said a piece of national heritage has been restored without injury. The artwork, "Odalisque in Red Pants," depicts a topless woman sitting in front of a wall.

Venezuelan authorities say the 1925 painting, valued at $3 million, was stolen from the Caracas museum in 2000. The original work was swapped out for a copy.

It was found in July 2012 when a couple tried to sell it to undercover FBI agents for $740,000 at a hotel in Miami Beach. The two were sent to prison for attempting to sell the stolen work.

The painting arrived in Caracas from the U.S. late Monday, and is to be returned to the Caracas Museum of Contemporary Art.

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