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Woman deserves something for her flea market Renoir

Sure, I'd like to see the stolen Renoir painting returned to the Baltimore Museum of Art, but not under the shabby deal your letter writer suggests ("Renoir belongs to BMA," March 21). The linen napkin painted back in 1879 has tremendous value, and the woman who purchased it at a flea market made a tremendous find.

I shop flea markets, church rummage sales, thrift shops and even dumpsters. There are treasures to be found. However stating that "the woman who bought the painting ... is simply out of luck," is callous. And to suggest the painting be returned in exchange for a BMA membership and photo is an insult!

The expression possession is nine-tenths of the law has merit here. As suggested thousands of years ago by King Solomon, perhaps the napkin should be neatly cut in two, one half kept by the purchaser and the other returned to the BMA. The Renoir painting was bought in good faith, and the present owner deserves more than a pat on the head for returning it to the museum.

Rosalind Ellis, Baltimore

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