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Spanish Police Recover Stolen Francis Bacon Painting Worth Over $5 Million

The 1989 “Study for Portrait of Jose Capelo” is the fourth painting to be recovered of the group.


Spanish police said today they had recovered a painting by the late Irish-born British figurative artist Francis Bacon, worth an estimated 5 million euros ($5.42 million), and one of five stolen from a Madrid home in 2015.

The 1989 “Study for Portrait of Jose Capelo” is the fourth painting to be recovered of the group, estimated to be worth a combined 25 million euros.

In February, police arrested two people accused of the receipt of stolen artworks in the Spanish capital, leading them to ultimately discover the painting at a property in Madrid.

Since the investigation began, sixteen people believed to have masterminded and carried out the robbery have been arrested, police said in a statement.

Three of the paintings were recovered in 2017.

Police said they continue to investigate Spanish citizens with links to organised groups from Eastern Europe in the hope it will lead them to the fifth painting.

According to local media, the paintings were stolen from the apartment of Jose Capelo, Bacon’s friend and former lover, although police would not confirm or deny that information.

Dublin-born Bacon, who died in Madrid in 1992, was one of the most acclaimed artists of the 20th century, known for his disturbing vision of the human body. Since he died, his reputation has grown steadily and so has the valuation of his works on the art market.

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