Artist hits out at Christie's over stolen work

LONDON Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:49pm GMT

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LONDON (Reuters) - Turner Prize-winning Scottish artist Douglas Gordon has criticised auction house Christie's after a solid gold sculpture was stolen from the auction house's London warehouse.

Gordon's 2007 "The Left Hand and the Right Hand Have Abandoned One Another" was reported missing by the world's biggest auction house on November 12 and is believed to have an insurance value of around 500,000 pounds ($800,000).

But Gordon complained that he was not informed about the theft until more than two weeks later.

"It looks like I am the last person in the chain to know," he told the Guardian newspaper, adding that he believed the work had been melted down for scrap value.

Christie's issued a statement in response to the complaint: "This matter is currently under investigation and we are in contact with all parties involved. We cannot comment further."

But a source at the auctioneer, whose headquarters are in central London, said the company had informed the artist's gallery and agent shortly after the police were called in.

The work was normally kept at Gordon's gallery in Paris, but had been on display at an exhibition organised by Christie's at Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire, southern England.

Gordon was born in Glasgow in 1966 and was awarded the coveted Turner Prize for contemporary art in 1996. He lives and works in Berlin.

(Reporting by Mike Collett-White)

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