Andy Warhol artwork stolen from L.A. home

A multi-million dollar collection of Andy Warhol artwork depicting famous sporting figures was stolen from a West Los Angeles home, police said Friday.

The 10 pictures, each 258 square centimetres, were taken from businessman Richard Weisman's home sometime between Sept. 2 and 3, said Det. Mark Sommer of the L.A. Police Department's art theft detail. A $1-million US reward is being offered for information leading to the return of the artwork.

The pop art paintings were on display in Weisman's living room and his house was locked up. It wasn't clear exactly when the silkscreen paintings were taken or how the thieves got into the home.

The theft was discovered by the family's longtime nanny who arrived at the home to find the paintings missing from the walls. She immediately went to a neighbour's home to call police, Sommer said.

"This was a very clean crime," Sommer said. "[The home] wasn't ransacked."

The stolen pictures include images of O.J. Simpson, Muhammad Ali, soccer star Pele and tennis champion Chris Evert. It wasn't known exactly how much they were worth but Weisman tried to sell the collection in 2002 for $3 million US.

Weisman's home contained other valuable artwork but it was untouched.

"For some reason they had an interest in this collection," Sommer said.

A neighbour saw a maroon van in the driveway of Weisman's home around the time of the robbery, and police are seeking more information about that, Sommer said.

Weisman declined to comment about details of the theft when reached by The Associated Press on Friday.


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