Why The Stolen Andy Warhol Prints Can Only Be Resold On The Black Market

Andy Warhol, modern art legend best known for pioneering a style of art called “pop art,” was so gifted with his craft that even posthumously, anything connected to him is instantly an object of artistic desire. According to the New York Times, Andy Warhol’s painting of Campbell’s soup cans were recently stolen from a museum and the FBI is offering a huge $25,000 reward for the stolen prints.

The paintings of the famous appetizer were stolen from an art museum in Springfield, Mo. One the most recognizable works of art found in the museum, and among all his other works, were the Campbell cans painted by Warhol, and they have been so since 1985. At the time of the theft, the paintings were on display in an exhibit of British and American pop art.

Unfortunately for the thieves, they managed to only steal seven out of the set of 10 prints (for those who are interested, they made it out with the beef, vegetable, tomato, onion, green pea, chicken noodle, and black bean cans), so the value of the incomplete set of prints is undoubtedly significantly less than it would have been had they managed to steal the final three prints in the famous Andy Warhol set.

The theft of the famous Andy Warhol paintings is speculated to have occurred sometime between 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 6, and 8:45 a.m. the following morning, according to Lisa Cox, a spokesperson for the investigating police department. The museum, however, does not have overnight security, which is why the specific time of the theft is unknown, and also why the police and museum staff seem to have very little in the way of leads or evidence.

When the museum opened up the following day at 8:45 a.m., the employees noticed that something in the museum was missing, seven out of 10 of Andy Warhol’s prints. Both the Springfield Police Department and the FBI’s art crime unit were on the scene of the crime.

Ron Rivlin, the owner of Revolver, an art gallery that specializes in Andy Warhol’s art, spoke on the prints of the soup, saying that there were 250 prints of each variant of Campbell’s Soup which brings up the print number to a total of 2,500 prints. He went on to say that the stolen Andy Warhol prints would be rather difficult to sell at auctions and galleries. Rivlin spoke from experience, telling the story of when he was approached by a group of people last year, offering to sell him nine of Andy Warhol’s prints that had been swapped out for reproductions and stolen from Los Angeles.

Ron Rivlin spoke on how selling the paintings of Andy Warhol will go for the thieves.

“It’s pretty much like a black market. Whoever they sell it to would need to know that they’re stolen.”

In other Andy Warhol news, the iconic artist’s first New York studio space has recently come on the market for sale with a price tag of $10 million, according to People.

For Sale: Andy Warhol’s First Studio https://t.co/khGQG193Kz #andywarhol #art #creativity #nyc pic.twitter.com/JLOnDstnSq

— Rhys Tranter (@RhysTranter) April 15, 2016

As a tribute to the legacy of Andy Warhol, a square in Ukraine has been named after him, according to Ukraine Today.

The name change of the square is a part of the decommunization process that serves as a significant reminder of the country’s break from the hands of the Soviet Union. Seven streets in five villages of the same region have also just been renamed in honor of Ukrainian artists and activists. The streets are being named after iconic individuals who previously lived in the area and contributed to its development.

[Photo by Ben Pruchnie/Getty Images]