Police investigate Warhol prints stolen from business and replaced with copies

Police Investigate Warhol Prints Stolen From Business And Replaced With Copies

In the last couple of months, a business in Los Angeles has become aware that 9 Andy Warhol prints hanging in their office are fakes and that the originals have been stolen.

The situation is under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department's Art Theft Detail unit.

In an affidavit filed with the court, 6 of the pieces are identified as belonging to the artist's 'Ten Portraits of Jews of the Twentieth Century' series, produced in 1980.

The remaining works were made as part of the 1983 'Endangered Species' group.

Warhol's iconic works, Triple Elvis
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Police investigate Warhol prints stolen from business and replaced with copies
Two women carry the artwork 'Triple Elvis' by Andy Warhol at the museum Brandhorst on May 15, 2009 in Munich. The museum which shows works from the contemporary arts collection of Udo and Anette Brandhorst is set to open to the public on May 21, 2009. (Photo by Miguel Villagran/Getty Images)
A man sits in front of a self-portrait by US artist Andy Warhol as part of the exhibition 'Warhol' on April 17, 2014 in Rome. The works of the artist, father of American Pop Art, will be housed in the renovated rooms of the Museo della Fondazione Roma, Palazzo Cipolla from April 18 until September 28, 2014. The exhibition features over 150 works, paintings, photographs and sculptures from the collection of Warhol's friend Peter Brant. The works on display range from Warhol's early drawings right up to his Last Supper series, first presented in Milan in 1987 in what was to be his last exhibition before his death that same year. (Photo by Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images)
A man looks at portrait photographs of US artist Andy Warhol (L), Chinese-American architect Ieoh Ming Pei (R) and art critic and curator Henry Geldzahler (2R) by British photographer David Bailey at an exhibition of his works where over 300 prints are exhibited in London on February 5, 2014. As well as new work, this exhibition includes a wide variety of Baileys photographs from a career that has spanned more than half a century. (Photo by Andrew Cowie/AFP/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - APRIL 20: Andy Warhol, Martha Graham (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Andy Warhol at Studio 54 in New York City, October 1981. (Photo by Robin Platzer/Twin Images via Getty Images)
Andy Warhol (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Andy Warhol (Photo by The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
Andy Warhol with italian actor Alberto Sordi posing for a photo on December 31, 1986 in New York, New York. (Photo by Santi Visalli/Getty Images)
Andy Warhol and Keith Haring (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage via Getty)

Combined, their value is estimated at $350,000.

When the theft occurred is unknown, but it is believed to have happened in the past 3 years based on an examination of the replacement prints.

It is during this time that the originals were likely removed and replaced with color copies.

The swap went unnoticed until this past July when 2 of the works were sent for reframing.

A person at the shop noticed the absence of both edition numbering and the artist's signature.

Also observed was a blurry quality in the fake prints.

The investigation has turned up a promising lead.

In late 2011, an auction house sold a work resembling one of the stolen pieces, and details surrounding the sale are being examined.
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