The case of the missing Carboneras art works

In 2009, The artistic mayor of Carboneras Cristóbal Fernández order the purchase of a complete set limited edition reproductions of the works of famous Spanish painter Goya. These 80 artworks, issued by group Planeta, never arrived at the townhall, and the current administration is asking where they are.

(Suspiciously closer to the elections than the discovery of the theft, but never mind).

Councillor of culture Josefa Cruz Orta authorised the purchase of the anti-war prints, entitled “los desastres de Goya” and the valuable artwork was supposed to be an “investment” which at the same time would brighten up townhall offices. Josefa’s signature supposedly appears on the receipt, although she denies all knowledge of them. Cristóbal is a self proclaimed artist who used his time in office to install several new sculptures throughout the town and financed a number of art competitions.

Felipe Cayuela, the current councillor for taxation, was going through the accounts when he spotted the 2009 unjustified payment. Planeta sent him a copy of the invoice, which showed that the artwork, together with an encyclopaedia worth €2.250, arrived correctly in Carboneras.

The encyclopaedia has been tracked down in the municipal library, but no sign of the artwork.

María José Rufete, the librarian in Carboneras, says she’s never seen the artwork, and doesn’t remember who purchased the encyclopaedia.

Now things get interesting. Both parties are accusing the other of stealing the artwork. The PSOE says the artwork was there when they were evicted, and the PP claim it wasn’t. The prints don’t appear in any budget, inventory or asset control.

They were worth €3,250 when new, but since they are a limited edition reproduction from the originals, could be worth up to €8,000 by now.

Planta, by the way, have discovered that the final instalment of €100 owed by the townhall hasn’t been paid, and is threatening to take the prints back if the account isn’t settled.

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