Douglas Gordon sculpture“The Left Hand and the Right Hand Have Abandoned One Another” (the Hand), a pure gold creation by the prize-winning artist Douglas Gordon, is worth about £250,000 ($400,900) as metal scrap. It is owned by the artist and it is insured at about £500,000.

The Hand was stolen in London, while in the care of Christie’s, a renowned auction house. The artist has been reported as saying that he does not think it was an art theft and that the work was probably melted down.  The sculpture went missing from a secure warehouse in the heart of London on or before November 12 but the auction house only informed the artist personally of its disappearance on November 29, more than two weeks after the crime was reported to the police.  Scotland Yard confirmed it was investigating the “alleged theft.”

Theft from storage facilities operated by auction houses are rare, or rarely reported. The volume of art in store at any given time is probably very great given the volume of transactions auctions houses engage in annually. It is possible that The Hand was simply misplaced, after all it is easy to miss less than 170 grams of gold.  However, this protracted search is a bad sign for Gordon and Christie’s.

The Hand was created in 2007 and was shown in London this summer. Theft was discovered when the sculpture was due to be transported to Tel Aviv for another exhibition.

Source: The Guardian.