Warhol sports art stolen in LA

A multi-million Andy Warhol art collection has been stolen from a private home in Los Angeles, say police.

The missing 10 pieces, depicting famous athletes including Muhammad Ali and OJ Simpson, were created by Warhol in the late 1970s.

A Warhol portrait of businessman Richard Weisman, owner of the collection and the house from which they were stolen, was also taken according to the BBC.

A $1m reward has been offered for any information that leads to their recovery.

The silkscreen pieces are valued at several million dollars, and were commissioned by Mr Weisman. A domestic employee at the house discovered the dining room walls bare, and alerted police.

The artworks - each measuring 40 inches (101cm square) - were reportedly stolen on September 2 or 3.

Other sports star subjects featured in the artworks include tennis champion Chris Evert, Los Angeles Lakers basketball great Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Olympic skater Dorothy Hamill.

LA police say that the rest of the property was left untouched and there was no sign of forced entry. The house was locked up at the time.

The collection of Warhol sports personalities was apparently specifically targeted as no other artwork, including other pieces by Warhol, had been taken.

"This was a very clean crime. [The home] wasn't ransacked," he said. "For some reason they had an interest in this collection." Detective Mark Sommer told the BBC.

Mr Weisman has described the theft as "a profoundly personal loss to me and my family."

Andy Warhol (1928-87) became an art icon in the 1960s for his iconic reproductions of the Campell's soup can and various celebrities, manufactured at his New York studio, The Factory.

A Warhol portrait of Michael Jackson recently sold for just over $1m in New York.


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