Until seven people have been arrested, six of which have already been sentenced, within the framework of an operation that has been developed in Castellón against counterfeiting works of art. The Historical Heritage Group of the Police of the Generalitat has thus resolved an investigation in which up to 27 paintings have been confiscated, most of which were fraudulent copies of such well-known artists as Francisco de Goya, José Benlliure, Cecilio Pla or Nicolás Falcó. The detainees The paintings were marketed over the internet for 1.2 million euros, as reported today by sources of the Ministry of Justice.
As a consequence of the special operation, it has been possible to prove that 18 of the paintings were falseTwo were authentic plates, four were “worthless decorative works” and the rest “their falsity could not be determined.” They detail from Justice that among all the paintings of real authorship, the one with the highest value is ‘La Inmaculada’, Goya, “which was offered to the public for 900,000 euros.”
The way of acting of the defendants was studied from the first moment by the agents, from the trigger that led to the identification of ‘The Adoration of the Magi’, by Nicolás Falcó, a work that triggered the operation after being acquired before a notary for 18,000 euros. When the buyer put it up for sale on the legal market for 45,000 euros “counterfeiting was detected “. According to reports from the Ministry, “they deceived investors by accompanying the works with false certificates of authenticity “.
From this first complaint, the Generalitat Police reached out to the scammer, discovering that he was part of a network “which had more than 30 works for sale online.” The agents assure that the forgeries they were executed “with very little elaborate methods”, such as placing a small piece of paper on top of the signature to exchange it for another; reuse the canvases on both sides; imitate the crackle technique by burning the canvas with a blowtorch, or even imitating a work that is exhibited in the Bernat Museum in Barcelona.
The technicians of the Valencian Institute of Conservation, Restoration and Research (IVCR-i), of the Museum of Fine Arts of València and the director of the Benlliure Museum were in charge of studying the authenticity of the paintings.
The Minister of Justice, Gabriela Bravo, has indicated in regard to the resolution of this case, that the investigation of the Patrimony Group of the Generalitat Police “has achieved deactivate a new illegal network for the sale and purchase of art and the presence of a score of works on the black market “.
Of the seven detainees, six have been convicted by the Criminal Court number 3 of Castelló. Three must serve a sentence of 10 months in prison and another three of three months.