STIK art prints, given to thousands of Londoners, have been stolen

Written by Rob Picheta, CNNLondon

Thousands of prints by street artist STIK, which were due to be given out as gifts to people in London after months of hardship during the coronavirus pandemic, have been stolen, police said on Tuesday.

STIK had arranged for 100,000 copies of his artwork ‘Holding Hands’ to be sent free of charge to residents of the borough of Hackney, northeast London, distributing them through the local newspaper Hackney Today.

But after many locals said they never received a print, the graffiti artist’s studio discovered the works were being sold online.

Police have opened an investigation and a “large amount” of fingerprints remain untraceable, the Metropolitan Police said in a statement.

“After all that residents have been through recently with Covid-19 and the lockdown, it was STIK’s intention that every household in Hackney would have a single copy of the poster as a gift to keep or sell,” police said. .

Stik during a tour of his work in 2012. Credit: Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images Europe/Getty Images

“These works of art were intended as a gift to the people of Hackney, any that are returned will be redistributed to those who missed out,” the artist added.

The 2016 artwork features two stick figures holding hands and is printed on different colored backgrounds.

Police said STIK had paid “a substantial sum of money” itself to cover the printing costs needed to distribute the work around Hackney.

“It appears at this point that somewhere along the supply and distribution chain, boxes containing thousands of copies of the print were taken without permission and resold,” said the unit’s James Readman. Met Police East Central Command.

STIK is known for painting simplistic scenes featuring broad-bodied stick figures.

The artist, whose work appears across London, has previously painted a giant mural on the side of a condemned tower block in Ealing, west London.

“The STIK posters were intended as a gift to the residents of Hackney after months of enormous uncertainty and challenge. It is therefore disappointing to learn that an individual or group of individuals has chosen to steal them. for personal use,” the Hackney Council said.

“It was upsetting to the residents who missed the visit and we are grateful to STIK and everyone who worked hard to deliver these posters and who will do everything we can to get them back.”

Elaine F. Brim