Something Fishy Happened To Beastie Boys' Sardine Display

Huge 3-D ad for Hello Nasty lifted from London rail station in dark of night.

Representatives of the Beastie Boys in London are asking fans to keep their eyes peeled for a massive sardine tin.

Thieves made off with the cardboard advertisement for the Beasties' Hello Nasty album under the cover of night recently, according to Terry Felgate, marketing director for the band's U.K. label, Parlophone Records.

The three-dimensional display, worth about $20,000, was mounted at London's Waterloo train station. Felgate said the label has no substantial leads in the case, but it does have a filmed record of the costly shenanigan, which occurred Nov. 19. It seems a resourceful tourist filmed the incident.

"There was actually some footage of the tin being dismantled sent in to a Channel 4 TV show, but it didn't give us any idea as to who took it," Felgate said.

Inside the tin were life-sized cardboard images of all three punk hip-hoppers, just as they appear on the cover of their latest album, Hello Nasty, which includes the singles "Intergalactic" (RealAudio excerpt) and "Body Movin' "(RealAudio excerpt).

In the last two weeks, numerous Beasties fans called a telephone tip line established by Parlophone to report seeing the tin. "It's been reported to be all over the U.K.," Felgate said, adding that he believes most of the calls were pranks.

The sardine tin already was well-traveled before the theft.

Parlophone had displayed it in Tower Records outlets in Glasgow, Scotland, and Birmingham, England. The label spent about $13,000 on display space, according to Felgate.

Kevin Gordon, a spokesman for the British Transport Police, said his agency had no record of the theft. Calls to the Beasties' American press firm, Nasty Little Man, were not returned.

Soon, Beasties fans who want smaller, less-expensive souvenirs will be able to buy miniature dolls of the trio -- MCA (Adam Yauch) Ad-Rock (Adam Horovitz) and Mike D (Mike Diamond).

They're being issued in Japan, but Felgate said they should be available elsewhere as imports.