Stolen Francis Bacon painting recovered after 9 years in Madrid

The British artist died in April 1992 on a trip to the city. This was one of five pieces stolen in 2015, in a case that made headlines

The art of Francis Bacon, stolen and recovered in Madrid (photo: IANS)
The art of Francis Bacon, stolen and recovered in Madrid (photo: IANS)


Spanish investigators said on Thursday, 23 May, that they have recovered a painting by British artist Francis Bacon nine years after it was stolen from a Madrid apartment.

The painting, worth an estimated €5 million ($5.4 million), was found in a flat in the Spanish capital, the police said.

The artwork was the fourth of five pieces by Bacon, worth a total of €25 million, to be recovered since their theft in June 2015.

Investigators were able to find the painting thanks to new information gathered after the arrest of two people in February, who were suspected of handling stolen art. The police said 16 people have now been arrested in connection with the theft, including the original suspected perpetrators.

Some had contacts with organised crime groups in Eastern Europe.

The investigation will continue until the final painting is recovered.

The 2015 theft made headlines worldwide after a Madrid apartment belonging to a former friend of Bacon's was broken into by burglars who managed to switch off an alarm system and steal the paintings without leaving fingerprints at the scene.

Bacon, who was born in Ireland to British parents, is remembered as one of the most important artists of the 20th century. He died of a heart attack in April 1992 during a trip to Madrid.

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