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 works were seized from the town of Estepona, a resort town. Reminding us again, that when you're on vacation, take extra care when purchasing art. Of the 81 seized works, 12 were thought to have been genuine. The difficulty, it seems, is with the huge number of Dali works, and purported works. From the Times: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.
Dalí, who died 20 years ago tomorrow at the age of 84, was said to have flooded the art market with thousands of fakes. He is thought to have signed as many as 35,000 blank sheets of paper to which lithographs could later be applied at any time. Some auction houses will not touch his work