Award offered for information on missing lithograph

Wil Petty

March 4, 2014

The Ashe County Sheriff’s Department is asking for help finding a stolen piece of artwork — and a monetary award is being offered.

The piece is an M.C. Escher lithograph which was stolen on Dec. 23, 2012. Ashe County Crime Stoppers are offering a $2,000 award for the return of the print, which has a serial number of 53/108.

The lithograph, entitled “Ascending and Descending,” was first printed by the Dutch artist in 1960.

Ashe County Sheriff James Williams said the piece is a “valuable piece of art,” and has been filed in the FBI’s National Crime Information Center. Through that center, a registry exists pertaining to stolen and lost art.

According to an Ashe County Sheriff’s Office press release, the theft occurred in the Jefferson and Laurel Springs area. The lithograph is matted in a silver frame.

A lithograph is a print which is done on a flat surface.

Detective David Upchurch said the paperwork on the lithograph has been sent in and its information is in databases throughout the state.

“If anybody has an leads on it, we ask them to call Crime Stoppers,” Upchurch said. Crime Stoppers will allow tippers to remain anonymous.

Anyone with additional information about this investigation is asked to call the Ashe County Sheriff’s Office at (336) 846-5633 or Ashe County Crime Stoppers at (336) 846-4188. Crime Stoppers pays cash for information leading to the arrest of individuals connected to certain crimes.

Wil Petty can be contacted at (336) 846-7164 or on Twitter @WilPetty.