A CRIMINAL network specialised in selling fake paintings by well-known artists has been dismantled by the Spanish National Police force.
Suspects reportedly sold copies of paintings by Picasso, Andy Warhol, Miro, Sorolla, Saura, Chillida and Tapies.
Ten people have been arrested in connection with the case and 271 imitations confiscated.
The network offered private citizens and art galleries in Valencia and Madrid the paintings, and also participated in online auctions.
Head of the Artistic Patrimony Unit of the National Police, Antonio Tenorio, emphasised the great success of this operation, as all the members of the gang have been arrested, including the five authors of the fake paintings, and those in charge of sales.
“They have been carrying out the fraudulent sales for seven years”, said Mr Tenorio, who added that the suspects would charge intermediaries between €50 and €100 per copy. These were the ones in charge of providing the final buyer with a fake certificate of authenticity. The market price of many copies reached prices between €1,800 and €180,000.