Ireland: A Taste for Finer Things

A Taste for Finer Things

The burglar alarm at Russborough House, the country estate of British Millionaire Sir Alfred Beit located 18 miles southwest of Dublin, went off at < 2 a.m. Police searched the premises, found nothing amiss, then left. The next morning, the administrator of the collection discovered that 18 paintings worth an estimated $45 million had been stolen. Sir Alfred put the blame on "thieves of a political nature."

He had ample reason for suspicion. In 1974 Irish Republican Army sympathizers stole 19 paintings from the mansion and attempted to exchange them for $1.25 million and the transfer of several colleagues from English...

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