A year after Andy Warhol art heist, there's still no trace of prints

By  | 

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - It has been a year since a burglar snatched seven Andy Warhol prints from the Springfield Art Museum and, still, investigators have no trace of them.

For more than 30 years, the museum was home to a collection by one of America's most well-known pop artists. Authorities say, since the art heist a year ago, they've exhausted every resource in an effort to recover the Andy Warhol soup can prints that were part of a collection worth $500,000.

"It was a blow for the museum and a blow for the community," said Springfield Art Museum Director Nick Nelson.

There is a still $25,000 reward offered for the return of those prints.

Springfield Arts Council Director Leslie Forrester says, while the unforgettable burglary shook the entire art community, it has made local art galleries stronger in security.

"It was certainly a devastating thing to have happen right here in Springfield -- an art heist right here in our own backyard," Forrester said. "Now we try to make sure that we're ready for all possibilities."

The art museum has even added more gallery attendants and adjusted hours to allow for more rigorous security checks.

"We doubled our efforts in making great art accessible to our community in the safest possibly environment," Nelson said.

They're all measures that make the art community stronger in their mission to provide art to the Springfield area.

"We are still here and we are still strong and we are still very proud of having a really great arts community," Forrester said.

Nelson says following the theft, the museum had an outpouring of support. He says, since last year, they've even had an increase in visitors.

The museum is offering a unique exhibit from April 7 through July 2 called "American Impressionism: The Lure of the Artist Colony."