Malaya case Sorolla sold at auction

National Police seized the painting in Brussels

A PAINTING by Joaquin Sorolla seized during the Malaya corruption case was sold at auction by Sotheby’s in London for €890,000.

The 1898 oil painting, ‘Before the Bullfight’, received three offers in an auction which lasted a week, local Spanish daily Diario Sur reports.

The auction went ahead despite a company claiming ownership of the work filing an appeal with Malaga Provincial Court to prevent it. The company, Neira de Rei, claims it owns the painting from when it took over a company previously owned by two men convicted in the Malaya case.

The Ministry of Culture valued the painting at €3 million was seized last year by Malaga Provincial Court after two attempts to sell it by defendants in the Malaya case. It was recovered in Brussels by National Police.

According to the prosecution, it could belong to Juan Antonio Roca whose assets were seized to compensate Marbella City Council.


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Written by

Jennifer Leighfield

Jennifer Leighfield, born in Salisbury, UK; resident in Malaga, Spain since 1989. Degree in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish, French and English from Malaga University (2005), specialising in Crime, Forensic Medicine and Genetics. Published translations include three books by Richard Handscombe. Worked with Euro Weekly News since November 2006. Well-travelled throughout Spain and the rest of the world, fan of Harry Potter and most things ‘geek’.

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