£50 million art haul
THE Beit Foundation has moved to allay fears that its priceless art collection could be taken out of west Wicklow once and for all.
Sunday’s massive art heist – five paintings believed to be worth up to £50 million – from Russborough House sparked concerns that the collection would be moved to Dublin galleries.
However, National Gallery director and foundation member, Raymond Keaveny, said that was not an option.
He said although there would have to be a major review of security of Russborough House, the house and the paintings were a package and would not be separated.
‘The robbery is a shocking and appalling but the foundation is a charitable trust which revolves around the house and the package has to be made available to the public. There are problems and things are not always as we would wish, obviously, but the paintings will not be removed form the house,’ he said.
Following Sunday’s dawn raid on the historic house, Mr Keaveney said they would have to go back to the drawing board and identify any outstanding weaknesses in the security system.
Raiders used a jeep to smash their way into the property and make off with a haul of art treasures. It was the fourth time the stately house had been targeted.