Two of the paintings that were stolen

SPANISH cops have recovered three of the five works of Francis Bacon that were stolen from a private collection.

The theft, in 2015, is considered to the greatest contemporary art heist in recent Spanish history as the private residence was renowned for its security.

The five paintings by the Irish-born British artist, who was born in Dublin and died in Madrid in 1992, are valued at around €30 million by some estimates.

The paintings are the property of José Capelo, 59, a friend of Bacon’s who inherited them after his death and has long been enamored with the artist’s work.

Police held three suspects in Madrid last year in connection with the robbery, while seven others had already been arrested the previous year.

According to police sources, the three latest detainees are allegedly the criminals who broke into the house where the paintings were hanging. The people who actually plotted the robbery, including its mastermind, were arrested in May 2016 and are currently out on bail.

The crime was perpetrated in July 2015 at the residence of Capelo, situated very close to the Plaza de la Encarnación, a highly guarded area with little traffic located just meters from the Senate building.

The thieves entered the house while the owner was away in London.

The alleged thieves behind the plot unsuccessfully tried to sell the paintings in Spain on at least two occasions.


The investigation remains open.


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