Three of five Francis Bacon paintings that were stolen from a collector’s home in Madrid in 2015 have been recovered by Spanish authorities, the BBC reports. A police spokeswoman confirmed that the artworks were found but did not provide further information, as the investigation to find the other two works is ongoing.
Estimated to be worth more than $29 million, the paintings were taken from José Capelo’s residence, along with a safe containing jewels, in what is thought to be the biggest theft of contemporary art in Spain. Capelo, who was a friend of Bacon, was in London when the burglary took place.
Seven suspects involved in the case were arrested in Madrid in May 2016. Another three suspects were detained in February 2017. Investigators tracked down one of the alleged perpetrators after they received a tip from a London firm that specializes in searching for missing artworks. A Barcelona resident had sent the company photographs of one of the works, which led the police to a suspect who they believe carried out the robbery as well as to an art dealer and his son, who may have hidden some of the pieces.
While the police did not provide identifying information about the works, the newspaper El País claims that they were portraits of Capelo. The authorities located one of the works several months ago and only recently found the other two.