Page last updated at 01:25 GMT, Friday, 23 January 2009

Spanish police seize 'fake' Dalis

One of the confiscated Dali artworks (Spanish police handout photo)
Police say up to 12 of the confiscated items may be genuine Dali pieces

Spanish police say they have confiscated dozens of suspected fake artworks by Salvador Dali that were to be sold in the town of Estepona.

More than 80 pieces were seized, 12 of which might be genuine, but are on Interpol records as having been stolen in Belgium, France and the US.

A fake 10ft (3m) Dali sculpture of an elephant was priced at $1.5m (1.1m).

Police have arrested a Frenchman who transported the pieces from France for the sale. He was not identified.

The art includes sculptures, lithographs, engravings, cutlery and textile pieces.

Police also uncovered "20 certificates of authenticity" for sculptures attributed to the Spanish artist.

Police said their suspicions were raised because the Frenchman had not sought special security arrangements for the show.

Dali died in 1989, leaving a multi-million dollar estate, the exact value of which is difficult to calculate partly because of the widespread existence of forgeries.

In 1999, Spanish police found some 10,000 faked Dali lithographs at the home of an aide to the late artist.

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