Storage normally means that the works are put someplace safe, kept under lock and key until such time as they can be returned to the museum.
If not for an alert perusor of an auction catalog, no one would have known that the portraits of the first Earl of Kenmare and the second Lady Kenmare were being offered for sale when they were supposed to be in storage.
The paintings once hung in Killarney House, once the seat of the Earl of Kenmare but now owned by the Irish State. It's being turned into a museum and tourist attraction, which means that the artwork on the walls had to be removed until the work was done.
Then the portraits were to be hung back in place, but instead someone lifted them and sold them on to a London auction house. The paintings ended up at Adam's in Dublin, listed at a value of between Eu20,000 - Eu30,000.
Not that the thief got anywhere near that much, but further information won't be forthcoming until the gardai complete their investigation.
Oh, yes, and then those in charge of maintaining the storage end of the State's collection will have to complete their inventory, so the guards can see what else might have gone missing while no one thought to ensure that "storage" came with "security".
The government is skint, but could someone scratch up a few euro and buy a new lock for the door of the storage unit? It will more than pay for itself in the long run.