An Art Thief Is On The Run After Stealing A Signed Andy Warhol Screen-Print Worth Over $50,000 From A California Community College

kohanova1991 - - illustrative purposes only

An art thief is on the loose after stealing a signed Andy Warhol screen-print of Mao Zedong, the Chinese communist leader, from a community college in California. The print was made in 1972 and is titled Mao. It is estimated to be worth over $50,000.

The piece was kept in a vault at Orange Coast College. To access the vault, a code and a key card are required.

Staff members realized the print was missing in mid-March while performing a routine inventory check.

An internal search was held to find the print, but they turned up empty-handed. They then notified the Costa Mesa Police Department in Orange County, and two detectives are working on tracking it down.

After Richard Nixon became the first American president to pay a visit to mainland China in 1972, Warhol was inspired to start creating portraits of Mao.

The visit marked the end of 25 years of diplomatic isolation between the United States and China.

From 1972 to 1973, Warhol made a total of 199 silkscreen paintings of Mao using his iconic, colorful style in five scales.

In 2015, a 1972 Mao painting by Warhol sold for $47.5 million at a Sotheby’s sale in New York. It was the record auction price for this type of piece. The college’s print, which measured 36 by 36 inches, is valued at $50,000.

According to a spokesperson for Orange Coast College, Juan Gutierrez, the missing print arrived at the community college in 2020 as part of an anonymous donation.

kohanova1991 – – illustrative purposes only

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