Thousands of stolen posters by street artist Stik have been returned following a police appeal.
Police launched an investigation into the theft of the prints, which were meant to be distributed to every household in Hackney, north London.
The artist, known for painting stick figures, created 100,000 copies of his 2016 work “Holding Hands”.
He had hoped to celebrate the “Holding Hands” sculpture installed in Hoxton Square last month.
A large number of residents never received their free print and it was discovered batches had appeared for sale online.
Since the police appeal, about 4,000 prints have been returned to the artist, in addition to another 1,000 which had previously been handed back.
“Holding Hands shows two people looking in opposite directions yet holding hands in a symbol of universal love and solidarity,” Stik said.
“The fact that so many prints were returned to the people of Hackney only amplifies its meaning.”
Det Con James Readman said: “It is really encouraging that the public have listened to our appeal and done the right thing by returning a large proportion of the prints.
“Hopefully, they were struck by the fact that Stik was doing something really nice for his fellow Hackney residents – funded out of his own pocket – because he wanted to bring a smile to people’s faces, during what has been an incredibly difficult year for most.
“Unfortunately, some individuals saw an opportunity to make money and took it.
“But we are pleased with the response and understand Stik has begun the process of distributing the prints to the rightful recipients.”