BARCELONA – Two works by Salvador Dalí were intercepted by the Catalan police and returned to their owners. The paintings together have a value of €300,000. Three men were arrested as a this operation.
They are suspected of committing burglaries in apartments where the artworks and other items were stolen. The police also arrested two other people thought to have participated in the reception and transport of the stolen material. In addition, police have intercepted more than 500 forged reproductions in a different police operation.
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This has been explained by the head of the Research into Crime Department (DIC) and the sergeant of the historical heritage unit of the Mossos d’Esquadra and the director of the Dalí Museums, Montserrat Aguer.
According to their explanation, the investigation began in January 2022. At that time, the Catalan police service was informed of the theft of two works by Dalí from an apartment in the Sarrià-Sant Gervasi district in Barcelona. Police have now succeeded in identifying the alleged perpetrators of this case. The detained are three brothers from Barcelona and Sant Cugat del Vallès (Barcelona) who traded in goods with high purchasing power. They used the knowledge that owners were not in their apartments during the weekend in question.
Resolem una investigació relacionada amb el robatori a Barcelona de dues obres d’art de l’artista Salvador Dalí valorades en 300.000 euros i les retornen als seus propietaris. Col·laborem amb @MuseuDali per verificar l’autenticitat de les peces sostretes https://t.co/zkgoOtbLiO pic.twitter.com/nPXcf0kTHa
— Mossos (@mossos) February 17, 2023
Artworks to a Portuguese buyer and Chinese entrepreneurs
Apart from the two works of art, money and jewellery were also stolen. However, it is strange that in this apartment around 20 works of art were present, but the thieves only took the two Dalí works. The investigation discovered that the alleged thieves intended to sell the works to a Portuguese buyer and from then on to Chinese entrepreneurs based in Catalonia.
In a storage space used by the criminals, police discovered five graphic works by Joan Miró and 55 watches in addition to works by Dalí. The suspects were brought before the judge who demanded their preventive detention.