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Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 August, 2004, 09:44 GMT 10:44 UK
Dali centenary show full of fakes
Salvador Dalí
The exhibition was held to mark 100 years since Dali's birth in Spain
Hundreds of paintings seized from an exhibition in Finland marking 100 years since Salvador Dali's birth are forged, Helsinki Police have confirmed.

Jyrki Seppala of the Helsinki police said 360 works supposedly by Dali were forgeries or tampered copies.

A further 150 works purportedly by artists including Joan Miro, Marc Chagall, Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol, were also thought to be forged.

Police were tipped off by "dozens" of collectors who bought suspected fakes.

In June, police closed the exhibition in Helsinki and impounded 450 graphic works attributed to Dali.

The Helsinki telephone number listed for Artco Scandinavia, the private company that organised the month-long exhibition, has been disconnected.

After six weeks in police custody, organiser Erkki-Juhani Minkkinen was released on 10 August.

Magnifying glass

Mr Seppala said charges of fraud, counterfeiting and selling forgeries carried a maximum four-year prison sentence in Finland.

German police and art experts in Stuttgart have been aiding Finnish officers in their investigation.

Spanish experts may also be asked to assist.

But Mr Seppala added some of the fakes were "obvious to us with just a magnifying glass".

The seized works include graphic prints, etchings, woodcuts and sculptures from several periods.

Spanish surrealist Dali, born in Figueres, near Barcelona, on 11 May 1904, died of heart failure in 1989.

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