Police arrested a 66-year-old man who admitted selling forgeries of paintings by British artist L.S. Lowry, the Malaga civil governor's office said.
The office said John Green, 66, a native of Stroud, England, and a resident of this southern resort, told police he sold 50 forged Lowry works for prices of up to $2,608 each since 1976.
The arrest last week culminated an investigation that began with reports that Spanish and British art galleries were "being inundated by Lowry paintings," the office said in a statement.
Green was being held pending a judicial investigation that precedes the filing of formal charges.
Last year, Britain celebrated the centenary of the painter's birth on Nov. 1, 1887. Lowry became famous for painting the ordinary people of his native Lancashire.
Lowry has been called the premier artist of England's industrial north.
Authorities seized 15 completed forgeries of Lowry paintings in Green's home and three false passports at the time of the arrest, police said.