Art seized in Malaya case for Malaga Museum

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THE Municipal Museum in Malaga will hold five valuable works seized from the Malaya Marbella corruption case.

The four paintings and sculpture were seized in November 2008 from a warehouse in Cordoba belonging to councillor Rafael Gomez Sandokan, charged for his alleged collaboration with the man believed to be the mastermind of the case, Juan Antonio Roca. They will be kept at the Municipal Heritage Museum until the trial is finished and the courts decide whether they can be used to pay back part of the funds allegedly taken from Marbella town hall.

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They include the ‘Portrait of William Cavendish’ by Flemish painter Antonious Van Dyck which is valued at more than €1.5m; ‘Antes de la Corrida’ believed to be by Joaquin Sorolla with an estimated value of €1.3m; ‘Fusilamiento del Alcalde’ by Ismael de la Serna; ‘Figura con Mariposa’ by Dali, and ‘Library’ a sculpture by Manolo Valdes.

Together the works have a value of almost €4m which will be held by the court until the responsibility in the case of the owner, promoter Carlos Sanchez, is determined. When they were discovered with another 290 pieces of art at the warehouse it was believed that Sanchez and his associate Andres Lietor had hidden them to prevent them from being embargoed.

The rest have all been returned to Sanchez as a depositary, but he will have to pay for the transport of those which have been ordered to be held at the Malaga museum.


Almost 1,000 works of art have been seized in the case, most of which have not yet been valued and remain where they were found.

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