MADRID.- Police have recovered in good condition 34 of the 35 works of art that were stolen from a truck three weeks ago in Getafe (Madrid) and which are worth about five million euros. The same sources acknowledged yesterday that, for now, they failed to apprehend the perpetrators of the robbery. The vehicle, whose keys were kept in the glove compartment, was abandoned in Alcorcón to confuse the officers.
Although it was initially thought that the works of art were stolen on request and that they may already have had a buyer, with the passage of time the investigation took a turn after it emerged that a sculpture by Chillida had ended in a junkyard. This startling revelation shows that the thieves (three masked men who did not even bother to switch off the alarms) were met with a commodity they did not expect and did not know what to fo with it. According to the initial investigation, the thieves transferred the works to a van after leaving the truck and it was there that the loot would have been saved during this time.
The Government delegate, Amparo Valcarce, and the head of the Specialist Violent Crime Unit (udev), Dionisio Martin, reported the discovery of 34 works of art stolen on 27 November, which were located in a van parked in Leganés. Yesterday it emerged that there were 35 works belonging to six art galleries, and worth about 5 million euros, not 28 with a value of 2.7 million as reported at the time.
The investigating officers initially found a work by Chillida, the authors of the assault had sold it a few days at a junkyard Madrid for just 30 euros. This lead allowed them to find 33 works in a van. All the stolen material is in "good condition" and most were protected in their original packaging. Only one of the boxes was recovered broken, although this incident did not affect the canvas, said the delegate of the Government. The missing piece is still being sought, said the head of the UDEV.
The owner the Juan Gris Gallery,the final destination of the stolen art, acknowledged yesterday the "unexpected news. David Fernández Braso confessed that "he thought it woild br impossible to recover the works and that it was "a robbery done by professionals. It has been shown that ot was quite the opposite. "The gallery said that the piece by Chillida that was bought the scrap metal yard for 30 euros has a market value that far exceeds one million euros..