• ‘The Generalitat Police has established itself as a fundamental guarantor in the protection of the oldest Valencian heritage and preventing the circulation of forgeries that devalue the name of Valencian artists’

The Patrimony Group of the Generalitat Police guarantees the preservation of the Valencian Historical Patrimony, investigating illegal works that affect cultural protection, periodically inspecting deposits, antique shops or traces, that continues in 2022.

The Historical Heritage group of the Generalitat Police has confiscated 250 works of art with a value of €4.5m.

During investigations dozens of people have been interviewed for alleged crimes of fraud, misappropriation or against intellectual property.

Seized works are pieces of archeology looted, including forgeries of paintings and sculptures.

The special Generalitat Police force has carried out a plethora of inspections in galleries, archaeological sites, antique-art auctions in the Valencian Community.

Among the archaeological works intervened are pieces from an alleged looting in an area of ​​great archaeological relevance, located within the Castle of El Puig.

The regional secretary for Security and Emergencies, José María Ángel, said: “The number of operations and the volume of works intervened demonstrate the professionalism of this first-rate police team.”

Amongst paintings seized, 54 were forgeries of original works by Ignacio Pinazo, José Benlliure, José Segrelles, Cecilio Plá, Vicente López Mompó, Genaro Lahuerta, Manuel Viola, Peris Carbonell and Franciso Lozano.

21 sculptures were unauthorised copies made after the death of the sculptor Mariano Benlliure Gil.

Since 2014, the Group of Historical Patrimony of the Police of the Generalitat has detected, seized or intervened works of art with a market value of €247m.

The special force has carried out over almost 2,000 inspections with approaching 600 artistic pieces confiscated, including archaeological elements, coins, forgeries of paintings or sculptures, historical bells, old tiles or firearms.

In Operation Elice, the force investigations included commercialisation of a fake Modigliani with market value of €50 million.

The Custodes operation were also involved in fake pieces by Modigliani, Goya and Greco with a value of €12.5m.

Fake works by international artists including Picasso (Operación Picachu), Wifredo Lamb, Guayasamín or Diego Rivera (Operación Wifredo) have been undertaken.

Surveillance work is carried out on protected monuments and investigations in operations for the purchase and sale of works of art in co-ordination with their authors, owners or foundations.

José Maria Añgel added: “The Generalitat Police has established itself as a fundamental guarantor in the protection of the oldest Valencian heritage and preventing the circulation of forgeries that devalue the name of Valencian artists.”

Caption: The Group of Historical Patrimony of the Generalitat Police has detected, seized or intervened works of art valued at €247m.

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