Debate regarding art theft in Detroit

   |  25 May 2012  |  AMA  |  Tweet  |  LinkedIn

Detroit, 25 May 2012, Art Media Agency (AMA).

A theft of 19 works of art, committed in late April in the Corktown neighbourhood of Detroit, is has caused much debate, with several experts contesting the worth of the stolen works, valued by their owner at more than $1 m.

A silkscreen decorated with flowers believed by its owner to be anAndy Warhol is included in the collection of works by Joseph Beuys, Francesco Clemente, Peter Scuyff, and Larry Rivers. However, as notably stated by the expert Richard Polsky in an article released on the Detroit Free Press’ webpage on 23 May, this silkscreen is not a work by Warhol but a studio tool he used to paint his Flowers series. According to Polsky it would be worth no more than $2,000-$3,000, quite far from its alleged value of several hundred thousand dollars.

Qualifying the collection as “minor” and estimating the artworks’ market value at no more than $200,000, Richard Polsky consequently bemoaned the amount of resources mobilized by the FBI to find the thieves and the $5,000 reward offered for information regarding the theft. He even dared to give a piece advice to the thieves, saying they should wait a couple of years then “dump this stuff in a regional auction house”. Simon Shaykhet, FBI spokesman did not enjoy this piece of advice and said “The artwork is listed on the National Stolen Art database and can be viewed on the FBI’s website”, justifying the resources mobilized to catch these thieves.

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