Spanish police have announced they have found three of the five paintings by Francis Bacon that were stolen in Madrid in 2015 (see Five Paintings by Bacon Stolen in Madrid). According to El País, which reported the theft in March 2016, one of the works was found several months ago and the two others more recently. An investigation to discover who was responsible for the theft is ongoing.

The BBC has reported that the paintings were found thanks to the Art Loss Register, an international database that lists stolen or looted artworks. The organisation is said to have received a phone call from an art dealer near Barcelona asking for information about one of the stolen canvases, and who subsequently sent photographs of the painting to the Register. Study of the photographs led to the police making several arrests.

The five Bacons, estimated to have a value of approximately €30 million, as well as other objects of value, were stolen in Madrid in 2015. The theft occurred at the home of a man aged 59, who may be José Capelo Blanco, the British painter’s last lover. This was the most serious theft of contemporary art in recent decades.

Since May 2016, 10 or so people linked to the crime have been arrested. Will the two remaining paintings be found?

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