An “experiment in human nature” proved a failure when £4,000 of art work was taken from an open-air gallery, organisers said.
Artist Andrew Brown set up the Honest Gallery in Soho’s Berwick Street this month, hanging four works on the wall of a boarded shop. He also had a collection box asking art lovers to pay what they could for pieces they wanted. But by the end of the day all four works had been taken and no money left.
Mr Brown said: “It was an experiment in human nature to see if we could expect people to do the right thing and in Soho it was a dismal failure.
“The artwork was put up at 6.30am on Saturday (May 1) and we set up a CCTV camera to monitor the site. When we checked the CCTV footage later we could see the first piece was stolen within an hour and when we returned at the end of the afternoon all four pieces were gone.
“We couldn’t believe that even the gallery signs were taken. The only thing that was left was the collection box which was completely empty.”
All proceeds from the box would have gone to charity and organisers say they will honour that and make a donation.