French museum makes bid to recover lost paintings of first world war

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Museum director keen to solve mystery of more than 250 paintings from a collection which vanished in 1918 and have never been seen since.

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The tranquil scene, a young boy about to bathe at the bend of a river, hangs in the museum of a small town in northern France as if nothing more upsetting than an occasional duster had ever happened to it. Almost a century ago, as the trenches of the first world war snaked ever closer, it was crated up by German soldiers and moved by truck from Douai to a nearby town, then in the last chaotic months sent by barge and train to Brussels together with most of the greatest treasures of the Douai museum, reports The Guardian.