Police in Spain have arrested a 63-year-old Spaniard for allegedly stealing dozens of artworks from Swedish churches.

A National Police statement Monday said the man was arrested on the Canary island of Tenerife. He had previously served a five-year prison sentence in Sweden for similar offences.

Police said they found more than 40 pieces of art including an 18th-century bible, four 15th-century wood engravings, candelabrums and trays.

It said the man also had a warehouse in Denmark where he stored other pieces of art allegedly stolen form Swedish churches.

It said four engravings that had been auctioned in Madrid were also recovered.

Swedish police tipped off Spanish police that the man was a prime suspect in recent investigations of stolen art.

He is expected to be handed over to Sweden.