Thirteen porcelain engravings by Chinese-American artist Chen Yifei, who died in Shanghai on Sunday, have been stolen. Chen's relatives discovered the theft on Thursday morning when they visited the Yifei Ceramics Studio in Taikang Street, Shanghai, according to media reports. Song Meiying, Chen's wife, confirmed the theft yesterday. The Guangzhou-based Southern Daily quoted Hua Yuzhou, a close friend of Chen, as saying that each of the engravings - which measured between 60cm and 34cm square - was worth between 80,000 and 150,000 yuan before Chen's death, although they could be expected to fetch higher prices now. A police officer at the studio said marks indicating forced entry were found on the gates of the studio and the stockroom where the porcelain engravings were kept. After the theft, Chen's family members moved 50 oil paintings from Chen's studio to a safer place, media reported. Chen, an internationally renowned artist, rose to fame for his oil paintings of southern Chinese landscapes and figures. One of his works sold for US$344,000 in Shanghai in 1997, believed to be the highest price paid at auction for a modern Chinese painting. Chen later set up a business empire that spanned magazines, fashion brands, film production, a modelling agency and a restaurant. The 59-year-old artist suffered a serious stomach illness and exhaustion while directing the film The Barber and died of a gastric haemorrhage at Shanghai's Huashan Hospital. Following his death, his art works have been snapped up by Shanghai collectors amid expectations that their prices will rise further.