$50,000 in Holograms Stolen From Exhibit

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Authorities were searching for clues Sunday in the theft this weekend of eight rare holograms from a holography exhibit in Santa Monica, the second time in a year that pieces from the collection had been stolen.

The holograms, valued at a total of $50,000, were part of a 70-piece exhibit titled "Images in Time and Space" that has been showcased for the last five weeks on the Santa Monica Third Street Promenade, said J. William McGowan, chairman of the board of Associates of Science and Technology, the coordinator of the exhibit.

Santa Monica police could provide few details on the burglary. But McGowan said he believes that the theft occurred sometime between late Saturday night and early Sunday morning.

He called the crime a professional job, explaining that the thieves disconnected the exhibit's burglar alarm and used drills to unscrew the 11-by-14-inch holograms from the walls. Last July, someone stole three holograms from the exhibit while it was on display in San Francisco. No one was arrested in the thefts.

"They knew which ones they wanted and which ones to take," McGowan said of the latest theft. 'I just can't believe it. We are devastated."

The exhibit began four years ago when organizers decided to put together a collection of works that would spark public interest in holography, a photographic method that uses laser light to produce three-dimensional images.

The holography exhibit on display in Santa Monica features works from 17 countries and is part of a larger collection of 200 pieces, the largest in the world, McGowan said.

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