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Thread: The incredible unreported State Art theft

  1. #1
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    Default The incredible unreported State Art theft

    Nice piece from the Phoenix today on the mysterious disappearance of pictures from a private storage facility in Kildare where the Dept stored various artworks owned by the State that were not on public display.
    The pictures in question date from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and are mainly portraits of the scions of the various Earls of Kenmare.
    They originated from Muckross House in Killarney at various times and individual items are estimated as being worth over 30k.
    Some of the paintings were auctioned at Sotheby's in 2010 and subsequently questions arose over their provenance.
    It subsequently became clear that the storage facility had been rifled of its contents but nobody seems to know exactly when.
    it appears that Dail questions were asked by Charlie McConalogue and Michael McGrath about security in place for art works belonging to the State before Christmas
    A report has been sent to Minister Deenhan

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    Default Re: The incredible unreported State Art theft

    Was there not also something reported about things being removed from the Dail/Government Offices ?
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Default Re: The incredible unreported State Art theft

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    Was there not also something reported about things being removed from the Dail/Government Offices ?
    Only a few odds and ends. Shure who'd miss them?


    By DANIEL McCONNELL Chief Reporter
    Sunday October 21 2012
    Thirty-seven pieces of state-owned artwork are missing or "unaccounted for" from within Leinster House, it has been confirmed.

    Individual paintings, prints, statues and other pieces of state-owned artwork assigned to the Leinster House complex, under the charge of the Office of Public Works (OPW), have been misplaced following the largest changeover of offices because of the general election last year.

    An initial inventory of the State's art collection has been completed and it found that 37 pieces of artwork from within Leinster House are "unaccounted for", the OPW has confirmed.
    http://www.independent.ie/national-n...e-3266332.html

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    Default Re: The incredible unreported State Art theft

    Quote Originally Posted by PaddyJoe View Post
    Only a few odds and ends. Shure who'd miss them?



    http://www.independent.ie/national-n...e-3266332.html
    "misplaced" ... No further investigations ?

    Individual paintings, prints, statues and other pieces of state-owned artwork assigned to the Leinster House complex, under the charge of the Office of Public Works (OPW), have been misplaced following the largest changeover of offices because of the general election last year.

    An initial inventory of the State's art collection has been completed and it found that 37 pieces of artwork from within Leinster House are "unaccounted for", the OPW has confirmed.

    It is now up to accommodation managers in Leinster House to locate the artwork, and if they cannot, then it will officially be declared missing.

    The final inventory is expected to be concluded in the "next two or three weeks", an OPW spokesman said.

    Leinster House is a particularly busy complex with politicians, staff, members of the media and the public having access to different areas of the complex. Often, when staff move offices, they take artwork they like with them and this poses great difficulty to the OPW and management staff in Leinster House to keep a track on them, the spokesman said.

    "We don't have the resources to constantly keep a track of where things go, but it is now up to the accommodation office in Leinster House to establish the whereabouts of these pieces," the OPW spokesman said.

    "Important works of art" by Irish artists including Leo Whelan, Sean O'Sullivan, Maurice McGonigal, Patrick Hickey and Tom Ryan, are on display within Leinster House, with the OPW also taking charge for pieces in the offices of Dail deputies and senators.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Default Re: The incredible unreported State Art theft

    How many thefts of art works owned by the State have there been at this stage? I'm confused.
    A man has been arrested in relation to the theft of State-owned paintings from the Department of Arts earlier this year.
    The art works and other items were taken from a storage facility in Limerick, gardaí said in a statement
    It is understood the arrest relates to an art work theft discovered last year. The department only became aware of the theft when paintings from the collection were spotted for sale in an auction last October. It is not known how or when they were stolen.
    In February last a collection of State-owned art and antiques was moved to the National Museum of Ireland’s storage facilities for safe-keeping following the revelation that some items had been stolen.The Minister requested that officials carry out an inventory of “all artwork, furniture and other items in storage” and “a physical check on all of these items”.
    In a statement last February the department confirmed the “loss of a number of items” but declined to provide any details and said “inventory details are not being released while an active Garda investigation is under way”.
    http://www.irishtimes.com/news/crime...orks-1.1372553

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    Default Re: The incredible unreported State Art theft

    Still no sign of the oul pictures....
    The Office of Public Works has so far failed to locate more than 20 artworks, some by well-known Irish artists, as part of an audit into art on display at Leinster House.Among those currently unaccounted for are original works by Valerie Hannan, Peter Knuttel and Diarmuid Delargy.
    The OPW, which is responsible for the management of artworks in State buildings, has said it is continuing to search for the missing works.
    It conducts art surveys in Leinster House every couple of years, with the last survey undertaken in April 2012.
    "With the last change in Government, there was a major turnaround of personnel and office spaces and this resulted in an unprecedented number of artworks being moved and redistributed throughout the Leinster House complex," a spokesperson from the OPW said, responding to a query from RTÉ News.
    More than 720 artworks are on display throughout several buildings in the Houses of the Oireachtas of which 22 are currently unlocated, the OPW spokesperson said.
    http://www.rte.ie/news/2013/0628/459...einster-house/

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    Default Re: The incredible unreported State Art theft

    Peter Knuttel
    Not so much art theft, more a quality control exercise ?
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Default Re: The incredible unreported State Art theft

    Those 21 pieces of artwork aren't 'missing' you understand. They just haven't been 'located'.
    Kudos to OPW chair Clare McGrath who delivered possibly the best waffle I've ever heard to the PAC today.


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    Default Re: The incredible unreported State Art theft

    Quote Originally Posted by PaddyJoe View Post
    Those 21 pieces of artwork aren't 'missing' you understand. They just haven't been 'located'.
    Kudos to OPW chair Clare McGrath who delivered possibly the best waffle I've ever heard to the PAC today.

    That's feckin' brilliant.

    Someone should set it to a beat. Clare's obvious talent is wasted in the OPW.

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    Default Re: The incredible unreported State Art theft

    Why don't they upload photos of the missing pieces
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

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    Default Re: The incredible unreported State Art theft

    Michael Brennan in todays SBP reports that over 200 paintings worth over €600,000 have "gone missing" from 'the State collection".

    The biggest loss seems to be from Killarney House (26 paintings and other items valued at €550,000 in total). These items were not on display but were "in private storage" - a public servant noticed two of them come up for sale at a Dublin auction in 2012. Surely this mystery could be solved ?

    The missing Leinster House items seem fairly low value. One of them is a Knuttel. Why was it bought in the first place ? Or was it a gift ? The report says that 24 of the Leinster House pieces have turned up "found in crates, behind furniture or in storage".

    Hmmm.

    Senator Paul Coghlan, who is a trustee of Muckross House in Killarney said he believed a large number of the missing art works had been recovered by the Gardai.

    No word of any prosecutions.

    The OPW and Department of the Arts H and G have now agreed to set up a combined register of all artworks in their collections.
    “ We cannot withdraw our cards from the game. Were we as silent and mute as stones, our very passivity would be an act. ”
    — Jean-Paul Sartre

  12. #12
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    Default Re: The incredible unreported State Art theft

    Quote Originally Posted by C. Flower View Post
    Michael Brennan in todays SBP reports that over 200 paintings worth over €600,000 have "gone missing" from 'the State collection".

    The biggest loss seems to be from Killarney House (26 paintings and other items valued at €550,000 in total). These items were not on display but were "in private storage" - a public servant noticed two of them come up for sale at a Dublin auction in 2012. Surely this mystery could be solved ?

    The missing Leinster House items seem fairly low value. One of them is a Knuttel. Why was it bought in the first place ? Or was it a gift ? The report says that 24 of the Leinster House pieces have turned up "found in crates, behind furniture or in storage".

    Hmmm.

    Senator Paul Coghlan, who is a trustee of Muckross House in Killarney said he believed a large number of the missing art works had been recovered by the Gardai.

    No word of any prosecutions.

    The OPW and Department of the Arts H and G have now agreed to set up a combined register of all artworks in their collections.
    Funny how this story keeps coming back but nobody actually does anything about it. A bit like the Moriarty Tribunal really.

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