Spanish police break up forged art ring, arrest 9, seize 60 works attributed to famous artists

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MADRID - The Interior Ministry says police agents have broken up a forged art ring and arrested nine people on suspicion of producing fake works by famous painters to sell them illegally on the black market.

Investigators made the arrests in the Spanish cities of Madrid, Cordoba and Albacete and seized 60 fake paintings attributed to artists including Francisco Goya, Pablo Picasso and Joaquin Sorolla, a ministry statement said.

Among other items seized were also four allegedly illegal elephant tusks, 30 pieces of carved ivory, 35 bars of gold bullion and a handgun.

The forged art works were destined for sale through a well-known Madrid gallery and each piece was accompanied by a counterfeit certificate of authentication, the statement released Sunday said. It was not clear when the arrests took place.

Organizations: Interior Ministry

Geographic location: MADRID, Albacete

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