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Banksy prints stolen from London art gallery

Police seek man and woman after break-in and theft of two limited edition Banksy prints

Police are hunting a man and woman after two limited edition Banksy prints were stolen from a central London art gallery.

Metropolitan police released a CCTV image today of the pair, who smashed their way into Art Republic, on New Compton Street, before stealing the framed prints, which are worth more than £16,000.

Surveillance cameras filmed the man entering the shop and emerging with the two prints while the woman remained in the street. The pair made their escape on foot.

The first print, Happy Choppers, was on sale for £8,750. It is a brightly coloured image of military helicopters, some adorned with a pink bow.

The second, known as Nola (Grey Rain), shows a young girl sheltering under an umbrella from which rain is falling. It was on sale for £7,700.

The two prints, which were mounted in glass frames and measured about 3ft by 4ft, were both signed by the secretive artist, who may be a little amused at the help given by Metropolitan police.

The back cover of his book Wall And Piece bears a quote from a Met spokesman saying: "There's no way you're going to get a quote from us to use on your book cover."

Today a police spokesman said the suspects headed eastwards along High Holborn, towards Drury Lane, after the raid at 4am on Saturday 1 May.

Both suspects were described as white and aged between 30 and 40. The man wore a white long-sleeved tracksuit and a dark blue baseball cap. The woman had shoulder-length blonde hair.

Banksy's work has proved attractive to thieves before. In 2007, 10 prints worth about £10,000 were stolen in Brighton, again from a branch of Art Republic. © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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