VALENCIAN regional police have seized two fake paintings that had been sold for €33 million as well as a third item that was being marketed for €12 million.

They were all owned by a Santander man who said the works came from a family inheritance and were always regarded as genuine.

The recovered fakes included a self-portrait of Diego Velazquez which was sold for €30 million and another Velazquez work for €3 million.

Ecce Homo, supposedly painted by Titian, had gone onto the market for €12 million.

Officers from the Historical Heritage division of the Valencia region police were alerted in March about the paintings being sold online.

The initial concern was that paintings considered to have ‘National Heritage’ value should not be sold to somebody living outside Spain.

The paintings were removed by Cantabria police and taken to Valencia where experts at the city’s Museum of Fine Arts confirmed that the works were fakes.

The three forgeries are being held at the Pont de Fusta police station in Valencia.

No details have been disclosed about possible legal action against their owner.

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