Police recover two Dalí charcoal drawings valued at €300,000

Mossos d'Esquadra dismantle lithography forgery workshop in Badalona

One of Salvador Dalí's charcoal paintings recovered by Catalan Mossos d'Esquadra police
One of Salvador Dalí's charcoal paintings recovered by Catalan Mossos d'Esquadra police / Courtesy of Mossos d'Esquadra
Catalan News

Catalan News | @catalannews | Barcelona

February 17, 2023 12:55 PM

February 18, 2023 01:03 PM

The Catalan Mossos d'Esquadra police have recovered two charcoal drawings by artist Salvador Dalí valued at €300,000, they announced on Friday.

In doing so, the law enforcement agents also dismantled a criminal group led by three brothers who specialized in stealing artworks.

Dalí's drawings date back to 1922 when he, on request by writer Pere Coromines, made them to illustrate the 'Les Gràcies de l'Empordà' (The Empordà's Graces in Catalan) book. These charcoal drawings have been authenticated by the Gala - Salvador Dalí foundation.

Criminal groups

The police dismantled the criminal group that stole the drawings as part of an operation they called 'Gresca' that began in January 2022.

The three criminals are thought to be behind at least seven other thefts in high-end neighborhoods in Barcelona as well as Sant Cugat del Vallès, Rubí, and Premià de Mar.

Unlike other thieves, they were very selective about the items they would steal, taking only those that appeared to be of value by known artists, such as Dalí, and antiques. 

Police were also able to recover three art pieces that could be by Joan Miró but have yet to be authenticated,  55 luxury watches, various coin collections, expensive pens, and other valuable items. 

In addition to the art thieves, the agents have also dismantled a lithography forgery workshop in Badalona, just north of Barcelona, that used to forge the work of painters Dalí and Picasso.

Police found their forgeries advertised on a website that has since been shut down and over 500 prints were confiscated.

Their falsified materials were sold for €500 to €1,000 each and distributed in 12 countries, including Australia, Belgium, Canada, Switzerland, Chile, and China.