Anti-fraud police said Friday they have seized 5,000 fake paintings imitating the works of Futurism, the early 20th century Italian art movement.
Three people, including an art collector and the alleged forger, are being investigated for fraud, said Venice police official Pierluigi Pisano.
Pisano said most of the paintings were passed off as the works of Osvaldo Barbieri Terribile, also known as “Bot.”
The paintings, which were seized in Alessandria, near Turin, also went on display in a 2007 show in Piacenza, organized to give credibility to the fake collection.
Pisano said the 18-month investigation is continuing and some artworks may have been sold in the United States.
Futurism flourished in 1909 in painting, sculpture and literature through artists such as Giacomo Balla, Umberto Boccioni and Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. Futurists glorified war, danger, speed and modern machinery.