Gloucestershire

Cotswold Opus Art fraud inquiry seeks owners of seized works

Artwork seized from Opus Art Gallery Image copyright Gloucestershire Police
Image caption A large number of works and assets previously held by the Opus Art Gallery have been seized by police

Detectives investigating allegations of fraud and theft at a Cotswold art gallery are seeking the original owners of 600 works of art.

The paintings were seized in August as part of the ongoing inquiry into Opus Art Gallery in Stow-on-the-Wold.

Gloucestershire Police said the company was run by Donald Smith and Emma Poole until they sold it to a London-based gallery owner before moving to France.

The inquiry is trying to establish what specific offences have been committed.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Detectives are trying to establish what specific offences have been committed

A spokeswoman for Gloucestershire Police said in May it received allegations that individuals involved with the gallery had been dishonestly retaining or selling works of art.

Image copyright PA
Image caption Police hope to reunite the owners of the seized works with their property

A large number of works and assets previously held by the company were then seized.

"Officers are working to bring any perpetrators of fraud or theft in this case to justice, and in due course to reunite the works with their owners," a force spokeswoman said.

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