Valued at more than 300,000 euros, they were stolen by a criminal group specialized in art and numismatics, dismantled by the Mossos
The two works that Dalí made in charcoal to illustrate the book ‘Les Gràcies del Empordà’ were stolen when they were 100 years old. Until 2022 they were in a private collection in a flat in Sarrià-Sant Gervasi (Barcelona), and the Mossos d’Esquadra activated the investigations when the owner of the drawings filed a complaint. With the ‘Gresca’ operation underway, it only took four months to arrest three brothers aged 50, 53 and 55. They made up a criminal group specialized in robbery with force, which used to operate on weekends, when no one was at home.
Before entering, the thieves did monitoring and surveillance work to learn about the routines of the landlords. They opened the doors with levers and inside they chose with meticulousness and knowledge the pieces that they would steal. Above all, they selected the art that hung on the walls, from which they looked for the best signatures or those that appeared to be the oldest, and the coin collections. In the criminal group there were also two other people who received and released the objects. The agents of the Central Historical Heritage Unit entered buildings in three towns where the defendants were located, who are free with charges.
They found in them the two works of Dalí, in good condition and without apparent damage. Given the existence of forgery workshops of these artists, the Mossos worked with the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation to certify the authenticity of those recovered. A couple of years ago an organized gang was identified that printed ‘dalís’, ‘picassos’ or ‘mirós’, up to 500 counterfeits, which they sold over the internet to unwary people from Spain, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Switzerland, Chile or China.
The Dalís have been returned to their owners. But in the seizures they have also recovered five graphic works by Joan Miró, which have not yet been analyzed by experts to certify and value them.
Detail of one of Miró’s graphic works, recovered by the Mossos. /
These works have not yet been returned to the collectors who owned them, nor have two other works by Paco Solá, whose owner has not been located. In fact, the Mossos allow anyone who recognizes one of these objects to contact them directly through their website.
The pieces come from at least seven robberies in Barcelona, Sant Cugat del Vallès, Rubí and Premià de Mar, and together with what was recovered last year they reach a value of about 700,000 euros.
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