UK & World News

  • 11 December 2013, 11:01

Damien Hirst Works Of Art Stolen From Gallery

Two signed Damien Hirst works of art worth more than 30,000 have been stolen from a gallery in London, Scotland Yard has said.

The pieces were stolen from the Exhibitionist Gallery in Notting Hill in the early hours of Monday morning.

Police say a suspect forced open the front doors of the gallery and drove the items away in a dark-coloured hatchback-type vehicle towards Ladbroke Grove.

The stolen pieces feature the artist's recognisable multi-coloured dots and are signed.

The larger of the two is called Pyronin Y. It was created in 2005 and is worth 15,000.

The second work is entitled Oleoylsarcosine and was created in 2008. It is worth 18,000.

"It appears the suspect has specifically targeted the two pieces," said Detective Sergeant Jon Lightfoot, from Kensington and Chelsea Borough.

"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."

Hirst was awarded the Turner Prize in 1995.

His more recent works include Verity, a 66ft bronze-plated statue of a pregnant, naked woman wielding a sword, unveiled on Ilfracombe harbour in north Devon last October.

The artist rose to fame first as part of a group known as the Young British Artists and is probably best known for a series of works in which he preserved animals in formaldehyde, including a shark and a sheep.

His solo show at Tate Modern last year was the most popular in the gallery's history, with around 463,000 visitors queuing to see exhibits including a diamond-encrusted human skull called For The Love Of God.

Hirst's commercial success is not always matched by critical acclaim and he has been criticised by other artists, including fellow Turner Prize winner Grayson Perry who described Hirst's work as "hackneyed" and "tatty".

The potter, known for his cross-dressing, said the "phenomenally successful" Hirst was playing "a good game".

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Serious Acquisitive Crime Unit at Notting Hill Police Station on 020 8246 0230 or, to remain anonymous, Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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