Two Salvador Dali charcoal drawings valued at around GBP 251,000 each have been stolen from a private collection in Barcelona.
The alleged robbery took place at an apartment in the district of Sarria-Sant Gervasi in the city of Barcelona in the north-eastern Spanish region of Catalonia on Sunday, 23rd January, the 33rd anniversary of Dali’s death aged 84 on 23rd January 1989.
The police found that the suspects had forced the lock to the property and verified the authenticity of the stolen items before launching their investigation.
The works of art have been named ‘Les sardanes de festa major’ (‘The Sardanas of the Annual Party’) and ‘Vi ranci’ (‘Rancid Wine’), two charcoal drawings from 1922 when the Spanish-Catalan artist was barely 18 years old. The ‘sardana’ is a typical Catalan dance and musical genre.
The drawings were intended to be used to illustrate a book that was never published, and were displayed in a private collection at the home in the upmarket Barcelona district of Sarria-Sant Gervasi.
The owners were not named, but they are reportedly the heirs of Catalan writer, politician and lawyer Pere Corominas, a friend of Dali who died in Argentina in 1939.
Officers of the Mossos d’Esquadra (Catalonia’s police force) arrived at the property and reportedly discovered that the lock had been forced by the suspected robbers.
The Criminal Investigation Division (DIC) then began its investigation to confirm the authenticity of the stolen drawings and identify potential suspects.
The Gala-Salvador Dali Foundation has confirmed the existence of the two artworks, estimated to be worth around EUR 300,000 (GBP 251,00) each.
The investigation continues.
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