LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Police are looking for the thief who stole most of a collection of Andy Warhol prints and switched them out with phonies.
The thefts were discovered recently when a member of the owner’s family took the silkscreens to be reframed, according to the entertainment website TMZ.
The stolen prints were part of a series Warhol called “Ten Portraits of Jews of the 20th Century.” The subjects were the Marx Brothers, George Gershwin, Golda Meir, Albert Einstein, Franz Kafka, Louis Brandeis, Gertrude Stein, Sarah Bernhardt, Martin Buber and Sigmund Freud.
Only 200 silkscreens of the series were made.
The Los Angeles Police Department’s website lists at least seven of the famous prints as stolen.
Director of the Revolver Gallery Ryland Behrens estimated a full set of all the prints, which experts call a Suite, could fetch up to $250,000.
TMZ reports the owner purchased the set in the 1980s, which meant the swap happened at some point in the past 30 years.
According to the website, the LAPD determined someone tried to sell one of the stolen pieces to Bonhams auction house in Hollywood. Investigators reportedly searched the auction house last month and reviewed its sales records for clues they hope could lead them to the thief.
A call to Bonhams for comments was not immediately returned.
Anyone with information on the stolen art is asked to contact the LAPD at (213) 486-6940.