Three Francis Bacon works stolen in Madrid recovered by Spanish police

Paintings were seized following a tip-off from the Art Loss Register


Spanish police say that they have recovered three works by Francis Bacon that were stolen from a private residence in Madrid in June 2015. Five works by the Dublin-born artist were removed during the raid. 

According to the BBC, the three unidentified works, which belong to Bacon’s acquaintance José Capelo, were recovered following a tip-off from the Art Loss Register, the London-based stolen art database. The UK organisation was contacted by an individual in Sitges who wanted to verify one of the works. Spanish police did not respond to further enquiries. 

"The return of the pictures is testament to the benefits of international cooperation between the private sector and law enforcement agencies. That these pictures have now been recovered through the skill of the Spanish police, after the Art Loss Register had identified them, and following the circulation of details of the loss via Interpol, is a perfect example of the value of such collaboration," says James Ratcliffe, director of Recoveries & General Counsel at the Art Loss Register.

Ten people have so far been detained in connection with the robbery; seven arrests were made in Madrid last year and three more people were arrested in January.

Bacon’s triptych, Three Studies for a Portrait of George Dyer (1963), the first portrait of the artist’s longtime lover, fetched $51.8m at Christie’s New York in May.


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