Romania: ex-minister suspected of accepting Renoir, gold bars as bribes put under house arrest

A court has ruled that Romania's former finance minister, who is suspected of accepting a Renoir painting, gold bars and cash as bribes, should be put under house arrest.

The High Court for Cassation and Justice ruled that Darius Valcov be placed under house arrest pending a probe into whether he received 2 million euros ($2.1 million) of bribes when he was mayor of a southern town.

Prosecutors said Valcov hid the painting, three kilograms (6.6 pounds) of gold and stashes of cash worth $410,000 in a friend's safe from 2011.

Valcov, who resigned March 15, was mayor of Slatina from 2004 to 2012.

Romanian prosecutors have launched a series of high-level corruption investigations in the past year.