Paris: mystery at the Invalides, two canons of the Musée de l’Armée are missing

Published by Graziella L. · Photos by Laurent P. · Published on 22 July 2022 at 10h27
Two canons from the Musée de l’Armée at the Invalides have disappeared! Have them been stolen or simply placed somewhere else? Anyway, this July 8, 2022, the museum has filed a complaint about theft of cultural property.

Two Krupp canons from the 1870’s are not easy to move around! And yet, these huge artillery pieces have been gone from the Musée de l’Armée since 2015. Usually displayed in a courtyard banned to the public, the two objects weighing about a hundred kilo were missing during the inventory carried out at the time. This Friday July 8, 2022, the museum eventually filed a complaint about “theft of cultural property”.

For the canons are not the only things missing, five old paintings, a clock and a collector’s coin have been missing since an inventory carried out in 2021, in the private residency of Paris military governor. A recurrence letting us think of a thief, but the Musée de l’Armée tends towards a change of location although there is no written evidence to find them easily.

Inventories – called stocktaking – are carried out every ten years in national museums to take a stock on collection. Yearly campaigns are also thoroughly completed. The Musée de l’Armée says “these pieces were placed in storage and have been declared as not seen”. The complaint in this situation is a compulsory process, as a precaution, for the OCBC (Office Central De Lutte Contre Le Trafic Des Biens Culturels or the Main Office to Fight against the Traffic of Cultural Property). But the organization aims at sounding reassuring and hopes to find the canons soon in the 500,000 objects in their collections, 25,000 of them being placed in storage.

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