The Office of Public Works has so far failed to locate more than 20 artworks, some by well-known Irish artists, as part of an audit into art on display at Leinster House.

Among those currently unaccounted for are original works by Valerie Hannan, Peter Knuttel and Diarmuid Delargy.

The OPW, which is responsible for the management of artworks in State buildings, has said it is continuing to search for the missing works.

It conducts art surveys in Leinster House every couple of years, with the last survey undertaken in April 2012.

"With the last change in Government, there was a major turnaround of personnel and office spaces and this resulted in an unprecedented number of artworks being moved and redistributed throughout the Leinster House complex," a spokesperson from the OPW said, responding to a query from RTÉ News.

More than 720 artworks are on display throughout several buildings in the Houses of the Oireachtas of which 22 are currently unlocated, the OPW spokesperson said.

Some of the artworks currently missing are listed as unlocated since 2008.

Other unlocated works include paintings by Roisín McGuigan, Brett McEntagart and Tom Nisbet.

The OPW spokesperson said: "It has been the case that works have moved from one office to another, were placed behind furniture or into storage crates as has been the case with the 18 works that have been located in the past year.

"The current market value of the artworks unlocated is €7,000, as many of the works are works on paper and editioned prints."

"Although the financial value of the artworks is generally not high in art market terms, they will not be written-off and remain on the OPW inventory list as they may have been moved within Leinster House or to another office outside the Leinser House complex without the move being documented. Personnel in Leinster House continue to pursue the matter," the OPW spokesperson said.

There are now protocols in place that prevent movement of artworks without the prior notification through proper procedures, she added.