Two Works by Francisco de Goya Worth $5 Million Stolen from Private Home in Madrid
Did the robbers know what was in the safe?
A painting and a drawing by Francisco de Goya, with an estimated combined value of €5 million ($5.6 million), have been stolen from a private home in Villanueva de la Cañada, a wealthy suburb of Madrid.
El País reports that the theft took place in the evening of September 1, when there was no one in the house, and the thieves disabled the alarm system.
The owners, who wish to remain anonymous, swiftly reported the theft to the Spanish Police, Interpol, and the Art Recovery Group (ARG), an international private company that offers solutions for stolen, looted, and claimed works of art.
The two stolen works—the painting Dream of St. Joseph (33,5 x 24 cm) and the drawing Sketches of Heads (21 x 15 cm)—are small but very valuable. Because they have been reported as stolen, however, their sale within the legal art market will be difficult and unlikely.
Christopher Marinello, CEO and found of ARG, told the press that they are currently working in collaboration with police forces to find and retrieve the works, but said he couldn’t give any further details in order to protect the investigation.
ARG’s Guilherme Maximino rejected the hypothesis that the thieves came looking for the artworks specifically. He thinks they were probably after money and jewels when they found the two Goyas inside a safe.
Maximino told El País that Dream of St. Joseph is quite possibly part of a group of studies for a series of frescoes that Goya painted between 1771 and 1773 on the walls of the palace of the Spanish aristocrat Joaquín Cayetano Cavero Ahones y Pueyo de la Sierra in Zaragoza.
Dream of St. Joseph was first attributed to Goya in 1915 by the Spanish art historian Ricardo del Arco.
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