Monday 11 December 2017

Heist nets €30m of Francis Bacon paintings

Francis Bacon
Francis Bacon

William Bond

Five works by Francis Bacon worth more than €30m have been stolen from the Madrid home of their owner in a heist police say was worthy of a Hollywood film.

The five paintings, inherited by a close Spanish friend of the late Irish artist, were taken last June. It was not clear why the theft had not been made public earlier.

The works were part of an art collection kept in a house on a quiet street near the Spanish Senate, one of the most policed areas of the city.

Sources close to the investigation said the theft appeared to have been highly professional.

It took place while the owner was away, with the perpetrators disabling the alarm system in the five-storey building.

The owner was identified only as JCB (59), an art lover who had been a friend of Mr Bacon, who often visited Madrid and died there in 1992 aged 82.

The robbery was described as the biggest art theft for decades in Spain. As well as the five Bacon paintings, "other valuable objects" were taken.

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