Madrid's El Prado Museum admitted to losing 885 pieces of art from its collection.
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The number of missing art pieces used to be even higher, but between 2008 and December 2012 the Madrid museum located 41 of them. This temporary misplacement was allegedly caused by "a reordering of collections" between the Prado and the Reina Sofia contemporary art museum. Twelve further artworks were also "on deposit at various institutions," reads the report, which covers the year 2012.
Two years ago, the inventory of historical and artistic items owned by the Prado showed a total of 27,509 objects. Drawings and prints make up a significant chunk of the holdings (15,480), followed by sculptures and decorative art (4,408), while paintings get broken down into historical periods.
A Prado spokeswoman played down the fact that hundreds of artworks appear to be missing. Most of them, she said, were lost in fires and even wars.
Michael Blanding, author of "The Map Thief," joins The Daily Circuit to discuss how museums keep track of their collections and how they end up disappearing.