Stolen: Thousands of prints by street artist Stik intended as a ‘gift for Hackney residents’ are sold online instead
- Credit: Todd-White Art Photography
Police have launched an investigation after thousands of Stik prints which should have been distributed in Hackney Council’s paper “as a gift for the people of Hackney” were stolen and sold online.
The renowned street artist - famous for his stick-men figures that can be seen dotted around the borough and as far afield as New York and Tokyo - funded the print and distribution of 100,000 copies of his 2016 work Holding Hands.
Every household in Hackney was supposed to receive a copy to celebrate the installation of his first public sculpture in Hoxton Square last month.
The 50cm x 50cm posters were supposed to be distributed via Hackney Today, and had been delivered to the distributor on September 19.
But it was soon apparent that many residents did not receive a poster with the paper, and Stik’s studio realised large batches were being sold online.
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About 1,000 prints, bought by unsuspecting fans, have been returned - but thousands of the teal, blue, red, orange and yellow prints are still unaccounted for.
Any prints that are returned will be re-distributed to those who missed out.
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Det Con James Readman said: “The artist began this project as a gift to the people of Hackney and paid a substantial amount of money out of his own pocket to meet the cost of printing.
“While some residents happily received theirs, many thousands of others were left very disappointed. We are working with the artist and Hackney Council to identify what has happened.
“It appears at this stage that somewhere along the supply and distribution chain, boxes containing thousands of copies of the print have been taken without permission and sold on.
“I urge anyone who has information as to the whereabouts of large quantities of the missing prints to make contact with us, so that we can right this wrong and help ensure they end up with the people that were intended to receive them.”
Stik has lived and worked in Hackney for 20 years and still has a studio here.
Anyone with information which could assist police is asked to call 101 with ref CRIS 4626404/20.
Alternatively, Tweet @MetCC, or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit Crimestoppers-uk.org.