German police believe they have smashed a worldwide ring suspected of selling forged artworks worth millions of dollars with the arrests of three people, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Works by Giacometti have fetched millions of dollars
Police said they seized over 1,000 fake Alberto Giacometti bronzes and sculptures in the swoop.
The three arrested - a 59-year-old man from Frankfurt and a 61-year-old art dealer and his wife - face charges of collaborating since 2004 to sell the fake works on the international market.
Prosecutors in south-western Germany said in a statement that the sales are believed to have been worth tens of millions of dollars.
Genuine works by Giacometti have fetched sums in the millions, most notably a bronze which was purchased at an auction last year in New York for more than $27 million (19 million euros).
Prosecutors said the 61-year-old had been posing as a count who also worked as an artwork salesman. His 59-year-old colleague then pretended to be a friend of Giacometti's brother, saying that he had found the statues in a secret cache after the artist's death in 1966.
Editor: Susan Houlton