Haul of fake archaeological treasure seized
1 June 2006, MADRID — Police seized over 4,000 items of stolen or faked archaeological treasures from across the country.
1 June 2006
MADRID — Police seized over 4,000 items of stolen or faked archaeological treasures from across the country.
Detectives arrested 24 people in raids on homes in Madrid, Catalonia, Andalusia, Aragon and Extremadura.
The suspects were not part of one organised gang but kept regular contact with each other, trading in treasures of "great archaeological value", police sources said.
Police seized a haul of items including three pistols, five guns and a blank-firing pistol.
But the treasures included rare buckles, urns, stone blocks, chandeliers, plates, tiles and columns.
The suspects allegedly bought and sold real stolen treasures, modified new artistic objects to make them appear old or changed authentic works to stop them from being recognised.
They sold the treasures on the Internet, supposedly offering bargains to well-known clients or swapping them for other items and charging commissions.
Police said the falsification of antiques had reached a level of such sophistication that each one had to be tested in a laboratory.
In all, detectives seized 1,123 archaeological treasures, 239 pictures, 45 carvings, 26 sculptures, 1,074 coins and 483 'faking' tools.
They also found books about how to fake art and make it look antique.
Police issued an appeal to any victims of the fraudsters to call: 91 322 10 65.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news