Thousands of Works Of Art Loaned to French Institutions Have Gone Missing

The National Assembly (French: Assemblée nationale) is the lower house of the bicameral P
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Thousands of pieces of art, from paintings to furniture to antique tableware, that have been loaned to various French institutions have reportedly gone missing according to a recent investigation.

The French state owns hundreds of thousands of pieces of art, including 130,000 pieces of furniture and hundreds of thousands of pieces of Sèvres tableware. Many are loaned out to French institutions, such as the Elysees palace where the French president resides or the French parliament, but a new report claims that thousands of pieces have simply gone missing.

The French Commission for the Collection of Deposits of Works of Art (CRDOA) has claimed that s many as 40 per cent of the pieces of art loaded to institutions have gone missing, representing thousands of pieces of art, including paintings, broadcaster Franceinfo reports.

“These are not always paintings by great masters, but many works have a certain value, sometimes being counted in tens of thousands of euros,” the CRDOA said.

In France’s major institutions, including the Elysees Palace, the parliament, the Council of state, the Court of Auditors and France’s Court Of Cassation, around 73 per cent of the piece of art loaned have gone missing. For government ministries, the number falls to around 50 per cent.

Many of the objects reported missing are Sèvres tableware, some of which may have been dishes that have simply broken in use or been lost. However, when tableware is discounted, the Ministry of Agriculture still has 45 per cent of the loaned objects missing, followed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at 40 per cent.

While the Elysée Palace has lost just 12 per cent of the loan art when not counting tableware, the number still represents around 700 different pieces of art.

Very few complaints are ever lodged regarding the missing piece of art and according to the CRDOA, this is due to the art either being considered too low in value to justify reporting it missing or that the chances of finding the objects would be too difficult.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)



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