French police hunt rare artworks stolen from President Macron's home
French authorities hunt seven ra
French authorities hunt seven rare artworks stolen from President Macron's official home - including statues and sculptures believed to be worth thousands
- The CNAP (National Centre of Plastic Arts) complained about the missing art
- Police have launched an investigation to find wooden and terracotta statues
- A bronze bust was also reportedly taken from the Elysee Palace before 2013
Paris detectives are investigating the mysterious theft of seven works of art from the official home of French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte.
They include wooden and terracotta statuettes, as well as a bronze bust taken from the Elysee Palace, in the centre of the capital city.
'The complaint arrived a few days ago in the office of the Paris criminal brigade,' a judicial source told the Parisien newspaper.
'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.'
The Elysee Palace from which some of the art was stolen is home to the French President and his wife
Paris is infamous for art theft, but such crimes at the centre of the political establishment have even shocked 'hardened detectives,' said the source.
Items confirmed as stolen from the Elysee will guarantee a full investigation, with anybody with a link with the Elysee coming under suspicion.
The complainants are the CNAP (National Centre of Plastic Arts), which manages France's national contemporary art foundation.
Despite the report only just being made to police and prosecutors, the CNAP's theory is that the works disappeared before January 2013.
This was when Socialist president Francois Hollande was in residence with his girlfriend, Valerie Trierweiler, and then his mistress, the TV actress Julie Gayet.
Before them, the conservative politician Nicolas Sarkozy lived at the Elysee with his third wife, the model Carla Bruni.
The theft of the art appeared on a CNAP audit which was looking at works placed in the Elysee between 1879 and 1984.
'Extensive research was then carried out, but this did not allow anyone to find the statuettes and the bust, forcing the CNAP to file a complaint,' the report reads.
Macron greeting US President Donald Trump in the Elysee palace last year surrounded by a number of antiquities
Thousands of state-owned works of arts regularly go missing from embassies, town halls, museums and even the two houses of parliament, the National Assembly and the Senate.
Many are soon classed as 'permanently lost', because of poor record keeping, and a lack of interest in recovery.
A chandelier that went missing from the Elysee some 25 years ago was recently discovered in a forgotten box.
But the past, souvenir hunters have ranged from lowly cleaners and members of the public, to those in high-ranking official positions.
Jean-Philippe Vachia, of the Court of Auditors, France's supreme auditing institution, said: 'The stolen objects are not masterpieces, but they can still be worth tens of thousands of euros, and they have a big heritage value.'