02/13/2014 12:35 EST | Updated 04/15/2014 05:59 EDT

Stolen artifact from Montreal museum recovered in Edmonton

Quebec provincial police have found an ancient artifact in Edmonton, after it was stolen in broad daylight from the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

Police have been searching for more than two years for two pieces of art, which were stolen from the museum in the fall of 2011.

Investigators said they believe a man slipped the antiquities into his pockets and slipped outside.

The recovered artifact — a fragment from a fifth century BC Persian bas-relief — was found in an Edmonton home on Jan. 22.

Officers from the Sûreté du Québec and from the Alberta RCMP carried out a search warrant in the home and arrested a 33-year-old Edmonton man.

The piece is valued at around $1.2 million.

Police are still searching for the second stolen artifact, a Roman marble statue of a head, dating back to the first century BC.

The two pieces were not in glass cases, but they were securely anchored to their displays and investigators said they are not sure how the thief managed to take off with the antiquities.

On security footage, a suspect is seen strolling through the museum wearing jeans, a dark jacket and a baseball cap.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the SQ at 1-800-659-4264 or email

The museum's insurance company has been offering what it calls a "substantial reward" for information leading to the recovery of the pieces.