BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Entertainment  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Thursday, 8 August, 2002, 06:50 GMT 07:50 UK
Stolen Rubens found in Ireland
Russborough House
The unnamed portrait was stolen from Russborough House
A painting by Flemish master Peter Paul Rubens has been recovered by police after being stolen in 1986 by one of Ireland's most notorious criminal gangs.

The unnamed portrait was among 18 paintings stolen 16 years ago from the home of the late English art collector and philanthropist Sir Alfred Beit, at Russborough House, south of Dublin .

Detectives from the police Arts and Antiques Unit found the Rubens in north Dublin on Tuesday, after acting on intelligence.

No one was arrested and a police spokeswoman declined to give exact details of where the painting was found for operational reasons.

Sothebys Senior Old Masters Specialist George Gordon
Rubens' Massacre of the Innocents recently fetched 49.5m
Police said the recovered Rubens portrait had been returned to the Alfred Beit Foundation.

It was set up in 1976 to give financial assistance to many arts organisations and to award scholarships in the fields of visual arts, music, and dance.

Beit, whose family wealth came from gold mines and diamond dealing in South Africa, inherited a collection of Old Masters from his father.

He decided to house them in Russborough House after buying and restoring it in 1952. He died in 1994.

After the 1986 robbery, carried out by a 13-member gang led by Dublin gangster Martin Cahill, much of the haul was gradually recovered, largely by auction houses in England and Belgium.

Art historian Neil McGregor with Rubens'  Adoration of the Magi
Rubens' Adoration of the Magi hangs in Kings College Chapel, Cambridge
Only two paintings are still missing.

Cahill, who was killed in 1994 by the IRA, has been the subject of two Hollywood films featuring the art heist - Ordinary Decent Criminal starring Kevin Spacey and The General directed by John Boorman.

This was not the first time the mansion had been targeted by criminal gangs - it has had artworks stolen three times in total.

In 1974 an Irish Republican Army gang stole 19 paintings after tying up Sir Alfred and his wife.

All the paintings were later found in County Cork in southwest Ireland.

And in June 2001 two more paintings worth 2.3m were stolen.

See also:

27 Jun 01 | Entertainment
23 Dec 00 | UK
01 Jan 00 | UK
14 Mar 01 | Entertainment
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Entertainment stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Entertainment stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes