Five paintings by Francis Bacon have been stolen from the private residence in Madrid of J. C. B., a Spanish friend of the legendary painter who inherited the artworks when Bacon died, in 1992. The five paintings have a combined worth of £23 million. According to El País, it’s the biggest contemporary art heist to have taken place in Spain in the last few decades.
The theft occurred in June 2015, when J. C. B. left his residence in the Plaza de la Encarnacion—an affluent area in the center of Madrid, near the Senate and the Royal Palace—for a few hours.
The heist has only been made public now for unspecified reasons, but an investigation has been unfolding ever since on both a national and international level, El País reports. The artworks, which are said to be of medium to small size, haven’t been found yet, but it is believed that they are still on Spanish soil.