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The five paintings, which included Portrait of a Dominican Monk and Venus Supplicating Mars by Rubens, were stolen from Russborough House south of Dublin, the home of the late English art collector Sir Alfred Beit, shortly after 6am on Sunday, September 29.

Police said a black four-wheel drive vehicle stolen in Dublin on the Saturday was found near the scene.
Russborough House, which is open to the public, has now been targeted four times. In 1974, an IRA gang stole 19 paintings after tying up Beit and his wife. All the paintings were later found in County Cork in southwest Ireland.

In May 1986, 18 paintings were stolen from the mansion by a 13-member gang led by Dublin gangster Martin Cahill. The haul was gradually recovered and only two paintings now remain unaccounted for.

In June last year two more paintings, Thomas Gainsborough’s portrait of Madame Bacelli and Bernardo Bellotto’s View of Florence, were stolen.

Police said last week they had been found at a house in Dublin. Beit, whose family wealth came from gold mines and diamond dealing in South Africa, had inherited a collection from his father. In 1952 he bought and restored Russborough House to house them. He died in 1994.