HAVING stolen the identity of a dead art expert, a man in Tarragona proceeded to produce fake lithographs.
He specialised in the production of so-called signed limited editions prints of works by Barceló, Chagall, Picasso and Tapies, adding false signatures and even forging fake certificates of authenticity.
The lithographs were then advertised for sale on the internet through his web shop using the name of the deceased man at prices significantly cheaper than normal.
The National Police were alerted to the sale of these fake items by the copyright holders and when they raided the man’s property in Reus, officers discovered that he was simply printing the artworks from photographic copies on his computer.
Following the man’s arrest, officers seized fake artwork, computer and printing equipment, documents and €15,000 in cash.
He has now been released on bail awaiting trial for breach of intellectual property rights, fraud, counterfeiting and identity theft.