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Andy Warhol print of Mao Zedong worth $50,000 stolen from Orange Coast College

Orange Coast College officials are seeking the return of an Andy Warhol print of Mao Zedong that has gone missing. 

"If someone has it and returns it we won't ask a whole lot of questions," said Doug Bennett, the executive director of the OCC Foundation. "If it shows up on the doorstep of the police station, that's fine."

The Palace Of Santa Barbara Hosts The Exhibition 'andy Warhol Super Pop'.
A woman looks on at a portrait of Mao Zedong at the Palace of Santa Barbara in Madrid, Spain in Feb. 2022 in Madrid, Spain. A print of the Chinese communist politician was recently taken from the Orange Coast College campus.  Europa Press News/Getty Images

They say that the print, which was numbered 187 out of 215, was signed by Warhol in ballpoint pen and was first noticed missing on March 13 when the director of the college's art gallery was doing a routine inventory check. 

The college performed a round of "internal inquiries" to determine if someone moved it or if something else had happened, Bennett said. Nothing was found however, and the foundation reported the missing print to police on March 20. 

Bennett said that the print was locked inside of a vault that only some people had a key card for. 

"I'm the executive director of the foundation and I don't have a key card to the vault, or saw a reason to have one," he said. 

The print was donated to the school in 2020, at which time it was valued at $50,000. The donor reportedly acquired it in 1974. 

"It wasn't widely known that we had it," Bennett said. "But people did talk about it."

Officials are hopeful for its return, and that whoever has it might just bring it back or drop it off at their closest police station. 

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