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Police return stolen Dalí drawings to Barcelona owners

AFP
AFP - [email protected]
Police return stolen Dalí drawings to Barcelona owners
Photo: Ben Gabbe/AFP

Two 100-year-old charcoal drawings by surrealist master Salvador Dalí that were stolen from a Barcelona home last year have been found and returned to their owners, Spanish police said Friday.

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The artworks, which have a value of around €300,000 ($320,000), were stolen from an upmarket neighbourhood of Barcelona in January 2022, Catalan regional police said.

Police recovered the two drawings and arresting three brothers in their 50s who were involved in "highly-specialised" burglaries.

The drawings -- one of Catalan peasants, the other of traditional dances -- were then sent to the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation to be authenticated.

Experts concluded they were drawn by the Catalan artist in 1922 when he was 18 to illustrate a book about the local area called "Les Gracies de l'Emporda" ('The Charms of Emporda').

The three arrested brothers had been operating in wealthy Barcelona areas, choosing their targets after days of surveillance then breaking in when the owners were away, usually at weekends.

Once inside, they were selective, taking only valuable works of art as well as coin collections and other antiques.

The trio were arrested in May 2022 along with two accomplices, with police also seizing five prints by the Catalan artist Joan Miro which have yet to be analysed by experts.

They also found 55 watches along with coins and antiques.

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