THE National Police have revealed that they have arrested seven people for their alleged involvement in the theft of five Francis Bacon paintings worth a hefty €25 million.
The owner of the paintings originally reported the pieces to be missing in July of 2015, as well as a safe with coin collections and assorted jewellery. As of yet, none of the missing goods have been recovered.
Earlier this year, in February, British private detectives specialising in locating stolen artworks got in touch with the National Police. In a statement, the police have revealed that these British investigators initially received an e-mail with photographs of several Bacon paintings, inquiring as to whether they had been stolen. The subsequent investigations eventually led to the recent arrest of the seven suspects.
Francis Bacon – not to be confused with the English philosopher and scientist of the 16th and 17th centuries – was an Irish-born painter noted for his grotesque and emotionally raw pieces, which often depict isolated figures imprisoned within different kinds of cages, while flat, non-descript landscapes loom in the background.
He was openly homosexual and enjoyed the good life and was an avid gambler. He also worked as an interior decorator and furniture designer.
Bacon spent a good deal of his time in Spain, particularly Madrid, where he would often while away the days studying the many paintings in the Prado Museum. He died in Madrid aged 82 in 1992.
The statement released by the National Police on Saturday (May 28) did not specify where the arrests were made, and the investigation is ongoing.