Artwork owners sought as police launch gallery fraud probe

Police are seeking the owners of 600 pieces of artwork recovered from a Cotswold gallery at the centre of a fraud probe.

The artworks were seized earlier this year by Gloucestershire Police following allegations of theft and fraud at the Opus Art Gallery in Stow on the Wold.

The company was run by Donald Smith and Emma Poole until they sold it in April this year to London-based gallery owner Kevin Zuchowski-Morrison.

After the sale, the couple are believed to have moved to France.

In May 2015, Gloucestershire Police and Action Fraud received allegations that individuals involved with the gallery had been dishonestly retaining or selling works of art.

A force spokeswoman said: "Investigations are ongoing to establish the ownership of the seized property and what specific criminal offences have been committed.

"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."

Police have released pictures of some of the 600 pieces of artwork yet to be claimed and officers will need to see proof of ownership.