How much is a box of pencils worth? Fifty pence? £3.99 if the pencils have rubbers on the ends? Well, if they're part of a Damien Hirst art installation, the value is £500,000. That is what 17-year-old graffiti artist Cartrain discovered when he pilfered some pencils from Hirst's sculpture Pharmacy. And that wasn't all – he was arrested, released on bail, and is waiting to find out if he will be formally charged with causing damage to an iconic artwork worth £10m.Y'know, I have some appreciation for the games Hirst plays in making his art, but fuck him. The theft had style:
He then created a "wanted"-style poster that read: "For the safe return of Damien Hirst's pencils I would like my artworks back that DACS and Hirst took off me in November. It's not a large demand... Hirst has until the end of this month to resolve this or on 31 July the pencils will be sharpened. He has been warned."There's more context in the article about some feuding involving appropriation, but that only makes Hirst look worse.
Or, erm, the Tate. Rereading I don't think I see thing one about Hirst taking any action at all except putting pencils back when they're recovered. Fuck him anyway and the Tate!
Also royalties are owed the designers of the pencils.