Damien Hirst artworks stolen: Have you spotted them?
Two works by the artist Damien Hirst – featuring his trademark multicolored dots - have been stolen from a gallery in London.
The signed artworks are worth a total of £33,000 ($54,170) and were stolen from the Exhibitionist Gallery in west London between the hours of 0300 and 0330 on Monday.
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The larger work, called "Pyronin Y", was produced in 2005 and is worth £15,000. The second piece, "Oleoylsarcosine," is dated 2008 and is worth £18,000.
Philip Hoffman, who heads the Fine Art Fund Group investment firm, said the value of the pieces came from Hirst's signature.
"He's a bit of a brand - every one wants to own something by him. There's good demand for his work - even the prints - because they're instantly recognizable and relatively inexpensive," he told CNBC.
The artworks would be "quite saleable" on the black market, according to Hoffman - unlike more expensive, one-off pieces of art.
"At these prices, buyers are unlikely to check the Art Loss Register to see whether they're stolen," he said. "They will most probably be sold abroad, somewhere like Moscow or China – there are lots of markets where one could sell a Hirst."
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Detective Sergeant Jon Lightfoot from Kensington and Chelsea police said it appeared as though the suspect had targeted the two pieces.
The gallery's front doors had been forced open and the pieces were taken away in a dark-colored hatchback-type vehicle, according to a statement from London's Metropolitan Police.
"The items would have been visible in the back of the car and we are appealing for any witnesses or anyone with information to please come forward," Lightfoot said in a statement.