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Andy Warhol's famous portrait print stolen from Orange Coast College

It’s not one of a kind. It is one of 250 but very valuable to Orange Coast College and its students.

A print of Andy Warhol’s famous portrait Mao, which depicts former Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong, is missing, according school officials.

“When you have the name Andy Warhol, that’s going to capture people’s attention,” said Juan Gutierrez, the school spokesman.

The print never made it on display at the Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion at OCC. It had been stored in the gallery’s vault since an anonymous donor gifted the piece to the school in 2020.

Staff noticed it was gone from the vault on March 13 and reported it to the school, and then to the Costa Mesa Police Department, which is now investigating.

“Obviously, it was surprising, and everyone stayed calm,” said Gutierrez. “We have procedures to see if it was misplaced or something like that. But once we exhausted those, then we went to talk to Costa Mesa Police.”

The police department, which is investigating the theft, said there were no signs of forced entry at the gallery nor with the vault, which locks with a keypad.

The piece was among about a dozen other pieces of art work stored inside the vault.

The print, which is one of 250 prints of the original, is worth about $50,000. The original 1972 Warhol piece was auctioned for $47.5 million in 2015, according to Sothebys.

The college said the print missing from the vault is invaluable to the school and the students.

“We get boats given to us through our maritime program. 20 years ago, someone gave us an island in Canada,” said Gutierrez. “So for the college to get something like this, it’s always very special especially if it can further educational purposes. It can also be resold to get more resources for students — whether its scholarship or resources that programs need.”

Anyone with information should contact the Costa Mesa Police Department.


Source: NBC Los Angeles

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