French Authorities Investigate Mysterious Theft of Seven Artworks from Élysée Palace

A complaint was filed in June in Paris about the mysterious theft of seven works of art from Élysée Palace, the official residence of French President. The complaint was submitted to the office of the Paris criminal brigade by the National Centre for Plastic Arts (CNAP), who manages France's national contemporary art foundation. The seven missing items include wooden statuettes, terracotta, and a bronze bust, with a total estimate of a few thousand euros.

These statuettes were not stolen in a sales room or a luxurious apartment, but within the presidency of the Republic, in the Elysee Palace or its annexes. A full investigation will be launched for items confirmed as stolen from the Élysée Palace. Anybody with a link with the Élysée will come under suspicion.

Many antiques and artworks are kept inside the palace

When these items were stolen remains a mystery. The report was conducted between November 2012 and January 2013 at the palace, noting the disappearance of these works which were placed in the palace between 1879 and 1984. Extensive research was then carried out, but the CNAP was not allowed to find the statuettes and the bust, pushing them to file a complaint. 

François Hollande in Élysée Palace

François Hollande, who served as President of the French Republic from 2012-2017, was living in the residence with his girlfriend, Valerie Trierweiler. Former residents of the Élysée also include the conservative politician Nicolas Sarkozy and his third wife, the model Carla Bruni.

This incident is not a single, isolated art theft in the country. In fact, thousands of state-owned works have disappeared from museums, town halls, embassies, but also from Matignon, the National Assembly or the Senate. Many of them are considered as permanently lost due to bad record keeping and lack of documentation.