French authorities have barred a UK gallery from  bringing a 17th century disputed painting back across the channel.

Currently exhibited at a London gallery at a Paris art fair, the authorities have laid their claims on the painting stating that it is a stolen property and has been missing for around 200 years.

According to a statement released by the French Culture Ministry, the painting was once the property of France and was deposited at the Augustins Museum in Toulouse. However, it was stolen in the year 1818.

The Huffington Post reports that the disputed painting, titled The Carrying of the Cross by artist Nicolas Tournier, turned up at Paris Tableau, a small art fair dedicated to the work of the Old Masters. Last year, the painting has been purchased by London's Weiss Gallery at the Maastricht art fair for 400,000 euros ($550,000).

The Weiss Gallery had brought the painting to France to display it at an art fair in Paris called Paris Tableau.

However, the French government has prevented the return of this stolen artwork by imposing an export ban until the right owners are determined.

The owner of the UK Gallery, Mark Weiss, however, denies these claims stating that the painting is not stolen and that he has been aware of its whereabouts the entire time.