Stolen €5m Francis Bacon painting recovered by police in Spain

Spanish police have recovered a painting by the late artist Francis Bacon that was stolen from a banker’s Madrid home in 2015.

The €5m (£4.2m; $5.4m) work is one of five portraits of the banker, José Capelo, who was a friend of the artist.

Three of the stolen paintings were recovered in 2017.

Two people have been arrested on suspicion of involvement in the theft, which police say enabled them to locate the missing painting.

In total, 16 people have been arrested over the theft since 2015. This includes the person who is believed to be behind the heist and the people who are thought to have carried it out.

The five works stolen in July 2015 were worth €25m in total. It is thought to be the biggest theft of contemporary art in Spain.

A safe containing jewels and coins was also taken at the time.

“Investigations are continuing to locate the remaining work and arrest those in possession of it, with the focus on Spanish nationals with links to organised groups from Eastern Europe,” a police statement said.

Francis Bacon was born in Dublin in 1909 and went on to become one of the most prominent artists of his era.

He was a frequent visitor to Madrid and died of a heart attack in the city in 1992, aged 82.

In 2013, a trio of paintings of his friend and fellow artist Lucien Freud sold for $142m in New York.

At the time, Three Studies of Lucian Freud was the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction.

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