'Dali' pieces seized by Spanish police over fraud fears

22nd January 2009, Comments 0 comments

More than 80 works of art claimed to be by the surrealist artist Salvador Dali have been seized in southern Spain over fears they might be frauds, police said Thursday.

MADRID—Eighty-one pieces of art attributed to Dali "were transported from France and were being shown for sale in a hotel in Estepona", the police said in a statement.

An unnamed Frenchman, who organised the exhibition, has been arrested on suspicion of attempted fraud and forging documents.

Police have yet to comment on whether the works of art are authentic Dali pieces, but said that some could be real and have been stolen.

"At least 12 of the seized works could have been stolen, according to Interpol archives," the statement said.

A number of Dali pieces have gone missing in Spain, Belgium, France and the United States.

"We first need to wait for the Gala-Salvador Dali Foundation to check that the serial numbers of the seized works correspond to those which have been stolen," the statement continued.

Police also uncovered "20 certificates of authenticity" for sculptures attributed to the Spanish artist.

Among the seized pieces is a three-metre high elephant which was on sale for 1.2 million euros (1.5 million dollars)


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