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Thursday, 21 June, 2001, 10:29 GMT 11:29 UK
Reward offered for Bacon portrait
Francis Bacon
Bacon: His portrait has been missing for 13 years
The British Council has offered a 100,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of a stolen portrait of the late celebrated artist Francis Bacon.

The 1952 painting by Lucien Freud, a respected Bacon contemporary, was taken in May 1988 from the Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin.

The council is keen to get it back now so that it can be included in a major Freud exhibition in London next year.

A major poster campaign will be launched in Berlin on Friday in a bid to find the picture.

The council's director of arts, Andrea Rose, said: "This is an extraordinary painting, a portrait of one national icon by another. I would dearly like to see it back where it belongs."

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The posters have been designed by Freud and next year's exhibition will be a retrospective at Tate Britain to mark the artist's 80th birthday.

Freud said: "Would the person who holds the painting kindly consider allowing me to show it in my exhibition at the Tate next June?"

Bacon was one of the 20th Century's most commercially successful artists, earning about 14m from his paintings before his death.

He dealt with themes of death and decay and his style has often been called existentialist.

Bacon was born in Dublin on 28 October 1909. He died in 28 April 1992, in Madrid, Spain.

Freud was born in Berlin, a grandson of Sigmund Freud, and came to England with his parents in 1931. He acquired British nationality in 1939.

Portraits and nudes are his specialities. His meticulous style has been described as "realist" and set him apart from other more figurative British artists since World War II.

See also:

09 May 01 | Arts
Bacon sale hits world record
22 Nov 98 | Entertainment
Lost Bacons unearthed
29 Mar 01 | Arts
London's artists on the move
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