Springfield Art Museum Ups Security After Warhol Theft

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – More than a year after Andy Warhol soup can artwork was stolen from the Springfield Art Museum, there’s no update in the investigation. But the museum has seriously updated its security.

Some people, like regular Larry Clutter, say unseen security is making the biggest difference.

“They’ve obviously taken security guards who used to sit up right in the front little area, and moved them back to some area where they have a private office and I’m sure they’ve got umpteen more television screens and cameras,” Clutter said.

It’s something Clutter, who visits monthly, said he’s picked up on in the last year. Joshua Best, the Development and Marketing Coordinator for the Springfield Art Museum, said regulars like Clutter are sure to notice one change.

“We’ve also added additional gallery attendants, who are there to answer questions, that can also help monitor activity as well,” Best said.

Clutter said, “The monitors, kind of just watch you, but they’re friendly and if you have a random question they’ll help you with that.”

The museum also changed its hours.        

“We open at 10 in the morning now instead of 9, but we’re open later in the evening,” Best said. “And that extra time in the morning helps security staff go through all the procedures that they need to to get us ready to open up.”

Although you probably won’t see any flyers anymore, asking for information about the stolen Andy Warhol prints, that doesn’t mean they’ve been forgotten.

“Most of those changes happened as a response to the theft last April,” Best said.

So where are the stolen Warhol soup cans now?

“People are always curious,” Best said. “Warhol is a big name. Unfortunately the case is still open.”        

Clutter has one theory.

“It’s probably in Beijing or Seoul or Tokyo now,” Clutter said. “Fifty years from now somebody will die and then they’ll discover it again.”

The museum hopes to find the stolen prints sooner than that. Best wanted to remind the public that there is a reward for any information about the theft. Contact the FBI’s Kansas City Field Office to report any information.

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