Ireland's Office of Public Works (OPW) has confirmed that 37 pieces of state-owned artwork are missing or "unaccounted for" from Leinster House, which houses Ireland's parliament buildings on Kildare Street.
The discovery follows an initial inventory of the state's art collection housed in the 18th-century Leinster House complex, which is under the charge of the OPW.
It is believed that the artworks have become "misplaced" following a major change-over of offices in the wake of the March 2011 general election. An OPW spokesperson said that when politicians or members of staff move offices, they often take artwork with them, making it difficult for Leinster House management to keep track of the art.
Now the OPW has tasked Leinster House's managers with locating the artwork, pending a final inventory expected in early November. If the art work can not be sourced then it will officially be declared missing.
The collection – which features work by important artists such as Seán O'Sullivan, Maurice McGonigal and Tom Ryan — includes 365 prints, 290 paintings, 24 sculptures, 21 drawings, 14 photographs, six "reproductions" and four pieces of textile art.
The OPW said that none of the missing pieces was of "critical importance".