70 million dollars worth of stolen art was sold at a Christie’s auction in London, England. The paintings were originally stolen from an apartment in New York City in 1978. The Warhol portrait of Marilyn Monroe was the most expensive painting sold, going for $195 million. The other paintings sold included works by Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
The painting, Shot Sage Blue Marilyn, was one of a series of portraits Warhol made of the actress in 1964. The work is a screen print on canvas and measures 40 x 40 inches (101.6 x 101.6 cm).
The owner of the paintings, Richard Prince, said he was “absolutely thrilled” with the sale. “It’s a great result for the owner and for Christie’s,” he said.
The paintings were recovered by the FBI in 2013 and returned to Prince in 2016. They had been stolen from his apartment in 1978.
“It’s great to see these paintings back on the market and fetching such high prices,” said Prince. “It just goes to show how much the art world has changed in the past 40 years.”
The paintings were sold at Christie’s “Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale” on May 15. The sale fetched a total of £157 million (US$195 million), making it the most expensive auction ever held by the British auction house.
The previous record for an auction of stolen artworks was set in February 2015, when a set of seven paintings by Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and others were sold for £96 million (US$120 million) at Christie’s in New York.
It is sold to a private collector. It is not known whether the buyer was American or European.
What will happen to the proceeds of the sale
The proceeds of the sale will go to the owner of the paintings, Richard Prince. Prince said he plans to donate some of the money to charity. It is not known how much money Prince will receive from the sale, as Christie’s does not release such information but it is expected to be a substantial amount.
How the paintings end up being stolen in the first place
The paintings were originally stolen from Prince’s apartment in New York City in 1978. It is not known how the thieves got into the apartment or how they were able to take the paintings without being detected. The paintings were recovered by the FBI in 2013 and returned to Prince in 2016.
While it’s great to see the paintings back on the market and selling for such high prices, it’s a shame that they were stolen in the first place. It just goes to show how much the art world has changed in the past 40 years. Hopefully, this will be the last time we see such a valuable collection of paintings stolen and sold at auction.