Spanish authorities have recovered a trove of stolen artworks by the Surrealist artists Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró.
The valuable masterpieces had been taken from houses in Barcelona last year, sparking a major police investigation that led authorities to a hideout in Catalonia. Officers found the masterpieces alongside a hoard of stolen money, watches, jewelry, and expensive pens.
Among the works recovered on Friday, February 17, were two charcoal drawings on brown paper made by Dalí in 1922, when he was still a teenager. He made them for the book by the writer Pere Coromine. These charming pastoral scenes have been authenticated by the Gala-Salvador Dali Foundation and have been valued at around $300,000.
The thieves had also taken five works that authorities have attributed to Miró though have yet to be verified by the artist’s estate.
The police have arrested five suspects, including three brothers aged 50, 53 and 55 who are believed to be behind a larger criminal ring that organized the thefts and several others targeting high-end neighborhoods in the city. Another two suspects were charged with receiving the goods. All detainees have now been released on bail ahead of trial.
The same agents, part of Catalonia’s autonomous police force Mossos d’Esquadra, have also shut down a forgery workshop in Badalona that specialized in lithographs falsely attributed to Dalí and Picasso, according to a report in . The criminal business had been selling prints online for between €500-€1,000 ($535-$1,070), finding customers across the globe including in Australia, Chile and China.
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