13 Sep 2009

Warhol paintings stolen

9:07 am on 13 September 2009

Police in Los Angeles say a private collection of paintings by Andy Warhol has been stolen from a house in the city.

Among the missing works are 10 silk-screen pieces created in the late 1970s depicting famous athletes.

They are of Muhammad Ali, OJ Simpson, Chris Evert, Tom Seaver, Jack Nicklaus, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Pele, Willie Shoemaker, Dorothy Hamill and Rod Gilbert.

The BBC reports a reward of $US1 million has been offered for information leading to their recovery.

The pieces were commissioned by businessman Richard Weisman. They are valued at several million dollars. Each one measures 101cm square.

A portrait of Mr Weisman was also stolen.

Police said the works were taken on 2 or 3 September. Their disappearance was discovered by a domestic employee, who found the dining room walls bare.

LA police said there was no sign of forced entry and the rest of the property was untouched.

Warhol died in 1987. He became internationally famous in the 1960s for his image of a Campbell's soup can and social gatherings at his studio in New York.