FORTY-EIGHT PAINTINGS, some identified as stolen up to 30-years-ago, have been discovered by gardaí in a premises in West Dublin.
The seized paintings are by famous artists like Robert Ballagh, William Ashford, Brian Ballord, and Graham Knuttell and have been valued at over €100,000.
Gardaí have confirmed six of the paintings as stolen and have identified their owners. Today they held a press briefing as they attempt to locate the owners of the remainder of the artwork.
The six paintings placed gardaí come from locations as diverse as Belfast, Yorkshire, Dublin and Carlow with the thefts occurring as long ago as the 1980s and 1990s. These pieces are valued at €35,000.
As well as the artworks, gardaí seized a number of books and other antiques and are looking to return all of the items to their owners.
Gardaí say that their investigations are at an early stage and, despite one person being at the location when the seizure took place, nobody has yet been arrested or charged.
The items were found at the home of a convicted art thief.
They have also yet to pin down whether the thefts were carried out by a particular group but say that it appears that hotels and stately homes were targeted.
As part of efforts to track down the owners of the items, and those responsible for the thefts, gardaí have been working with with Interpol and international art experts.
Superintendent Paul Moran says that anyone who may recognise the artworks or had artworks stolen up to 20 or 30 years ago should contact gardai at Pearse Street.
They’ve also urged people who have an original copy of one of the paintings to check the painting as they have reason to believe that the thieves may have stolen the originals and replaced them with copies in a number of cases.