Spanish police arrest 4 for offering fake Picasso painting

MADRID (AP) – The Interior Ministry says police have arrested four people for trying to sell a forged Pablo Picasso oil painting for up to 1.2 million euros ($1.5 million).

The canvas, a counterfeit version of a 1964 work called The bust of Jeune Garcon was accompanied by false authenticity documents bearing the signatures of Paloma, one of the Spanish painter’s daughters, and a renowned French art expert.

Investigators sought professional advice from museum experts and determined that the real painting, which is slightly different to the offered fake, carries official certification by Maya Widmaier, the Malaga-born painter’s oldest surviving offspring.

The ministry said in a statement Saturday that officers arrested three art brokers involved in the offer for sale and the current owner, a well-known Madrid antiquarian.

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AP-WF-07-07-12 1242GMT