An inventory of all artwork held by the Irish Department of Arts and Heritage is taking place following the disclosure that two paintings owned by the State were listed for sale at an auction in Dublin late last year.
The paintings were recovered by gardaí who are now investigating whether other items owned by the State may have disappeared from private storage. A public servant spotted the paintings in a catalogue produced by Dublin auctioneers Adam’s and alerted the authorities.
The paintings of first Earl of Kenmare Valentine Browne (1754-1812) and his second wife, Mary Aylmer of Lyons, Co Kildare, were in private storage while Killarney House, the ancestral home of the Browne family, which is now owned by the State, is being refurbished.
The Adam’s sale catalogue gave an estimated value of…