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Aussie artist charged in art theft probe

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BRISBANE, Australia, Aug 15, 2005 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- A successful Australian painter has been charged in what could turn out to be the largest art heist in the country's history.

Queensland artist Richard Dunlop, 44, was charged after police raided his suburban Brisbane home and seized several hundred of oils, sketches, prints and etchings including works by contemporary artists William Robinson and Joe Furlonger, the Australian reported Monday.

Police said Friday's raid culminated a 12-year investigation into art stolen from a number of Australian galleries.

Dunlop told The Australian he paid for all of the art, which he had planned on donating to public galleries.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International.

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