A pair of first century bronze statues about to be sold on the black market have been recovered by police in Jaen.

The Roman figures, valued at six million euros each, were taken from the ancient Roman site of Sacilis Marcialis and are believed to form part of the Castor and Polix sculpture in Cordoba.

The statues, 1.50 m and 1.30 m in size, depict two naked males, with each piece weighing about 30 kilos and in a good state of conservation, although one has lost part of his chest and the other his genitals.

Police managed to trace the figures to a finca in Pedro Abad, in Cordoba, owned by two brothers who were planning to sell them for half their value.

According to police commissioner Daniel Salgado they were about to be sold on the black market to an Italian buyer via an intermediary.

Interpol are now hunting for the buyer.

One of the brothers has also been arrested and two other people charged with a crime against heritage and the attempted smuggling of historic property.

The statues will now be taken to the Cordoba Museum to be restored.