Robbery

Spanish police make arrests over stolen Francis Bacon works

Seven people have been arrested in Spain on suspicion of involvement in the theft of five paintings by Francis Bacon, worth a total of £19m.

The paintings were stolen last July, along with other valuables belonging to the owner, who is reported to have been a close friend of Bacon. The works, which comprise portraits and landscapes, are yet to be recovered.

Detectives said they were approached in February by British private investigators specialising in the recovery of stolen artworks who had received an email with photographs of the paintings and asking whether they were listed as stolen. Investigators analysed the photo and were able to determine that the camera that took the images was owned by a photographic equipment rental company, which supplied details of the customer who had rented it at the time the paintings were photographed.

The customer, who is suspected of involvement in the crime, was among those arrested, along with a Madrid art dealer and his son.

Picasso works stolen from German collection

Several artworks, including 11 lithographs by Pablo Picasso, were stolen from the corporate collection of Portigon AG, a financial services company from North Rhine-Westphalia.

Portigon was formed in 2012 as the legal successor WestLB, the Western German state Bank. A spokesperson for the company confirmed the theft this past Friday in Düsseldorf.

Gallery worker pleads guilty in Afghan girl theft

Art studio employee Bree DeStephano pleaded guilty to stealing photographs from renowned photojournalist Steve McCurry, reports the Daily Local News. McCurry is best known for his June 1985 National Geographic cover Afghan Girl, an image of a young woman with haunting green eyes take at a refugee camp a year earlier.

DeStephano was arrested in June 2015 and accused of stealing $655,000 worth of photos from McCurry. Her guilty plea included three third degree felony charges: theft, conspiracy, and criminal use of a communication facility. DeStephano confessed in an affidavit taken by Chester County Detective Martin Carbonel, the lead investigator in the case.

When you're so rich you don't notice your Picasso is missing

Billionaire socialite Wilma “Billie” Tisch is suing a Florida gallery owner for trying to sell a US$1 million Picasso that was stolen from her Manhattan home — sometime after December 2009, according to court papers.

Tisch, 88, only recently discovered the 1928 portrait of the famed painter’s mistress, Marie-Therese Walter, was missing.

Iconic Andy Warhol prints stolen from Springfield Art Museum

Someone broke into a Missouri art museum this week and stole an unknown number of prints of Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans.

The Springfield News-Leader reports the theft at the Springfield Art Museum happened between 5:30 p.m. Wednesday and 8:45 a.m. Thursday. Police spokeswoman Lisa Cox says the FBI and Interpol have been notified.

The website for London-based art auction house Christie’s says a similar 1968 color screenprint from Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup I series sold for more than US$30,000 in 2015.