17 Aug 2019
August 12, 2019 - Filed under: Antiques News — Harriet

French police are investigating how numerous valuable works of art and antique furniture have vanished from Paris’ Elysée Palace.

Missing items include numerous bronze sculptures, a 19th century Restoration dining chair and 17th-century Savonnerie carpets. If all the missing crockery is included, a total of over 57,000 items are missing. These revelations have been announced after a recent stocktaking of the palace when officials checked what was in the palace against a list of what should be there.

Investigators trying to find missing items have found some locked away in storerooms, and others had been moved to the Hotel de Marigny, which is where the French President receives foreign VIPs. There move had not been recorded. Other items have been discovered for sale on online marketplace, eBay. A police spokesperson stated:

“The president’s office has often been slow to report suspected thefts to the police. It’s taken two years in some cases, which would have given thieves plenty of time to sell the objects without being noticed.”

As a result, surveillance has been tightened at the palace. New workers have to list every item in their office and this is checked when they leave. First lady Brigitte Macron is keen to update the Elysée and replace the older furnishings and works of art with more contemporary pieces.

If you visit a Lancashire antique dealer to purchase a French ormolu mounted cabinet or other antiques from France, they are highly unlikely to have come from the Elysée Palace.

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