In a French report last week it was learned that the French have lost or mislaid a staggering number of works. From Adam Sage for the Times:
The tale of what may well be art’s greatest mystery was published in France this week amid claims of greed, negligence and dishonesty at the heart of the State.Take, for example, the tapestry by Joan Miró that has gone missing from the French Embassy in Washington. Or the drawing by the 20th-century French painter Raoul Dufy, which vanished from a museum in Marseilles; or the oil painting by the Slovene artist Zoran Music, lost by the French Finance Ministry.Where they have gone, nobody knows – or, at least, nobody is saying. They have just “slipped on to picture rails inaccessible to the public”, in the discreet but damning words of Jean-Pierre Bady, a civil servant who has recounted in arid bureaucratic language the ten-year hunt to find thousands of artworks that have disappeared.
In all, 306,993 paintings, sculptures, antiques, porcelain and other works are supposed to adorn ministries, embassies, local government offices and official residences, including the Elysée Palace, he said.In fact, Mr Bady discovered that 37,658 French state artworks were missing, of which 3,444 are known to have been destroyed and 145 reported stolen – with the rest simply mislaid.
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