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Italy: Millions of fake Chinese 'Murano glass' items seized in Venice




Venice, 25 June (AKI) - Italian police on Friday in Venice seized over 11 million items of fake pieces of celebrated Murano glass that investigators say were in fact made in China. The fakes were being sold to tourists by three unnamed Venetian companies which have been reported to police for alleged fraud and other offences.

The owner of a chain of tourist shops in Venice's historic centre allegedly purchased fake Murano glass items from two businesses based on the island of Murano, where the glass is traditionally made, investigators said.

The two Murano companies imported the glass from China and replaced the original 'Made in China' labels with the bogus 'Murano glass' labels, according to investigators.

The bogus labels claimed the Chinese glass items were 'made in Venice' or 'made in Italy' and sold to tourists at discounted prices in five shops which are owned by a firm in the nearby beach resort of Jesolo.

The goods included drinking glasses, candlesticks, masks, crucifixes, necklaces, pendants, keyrings and 'traditional' plates and dishes, as well as lamps and other items.

To the untrained eye, the fake items were hard to distinguish from genuine Murano glass goods beings sold in the same shops, according to police.

The island of Murano's glass production roots go back to the late 13th century when the Venetican Republic moved foundries to the island to protect them from fire.

Murano glass is one of the most ubiquitous items in Venice's numerous shops that line the historical northern Italian city's canals and alleyway pedestrian streets.


 

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