The organisers of the Basel Shift Festival have decided not to report the theft to the police yet, and hope the thief will return the book.
The book with the words "Steal this Book" emblazoned across its cover had been placed in an incubator by artists from the Viennese artist's group Ubermorgen.
A spokesman for the artists said: "The central part of the work was a book with the title 'Steal this Book' as a way of representing in art an internet hacking operation that made entire books readable on amazon.com, instead of just single pages.
"It was an attempt to praise those that fought for the right for literary freedom, and not an invitation to steal the book."
The book was written by Abbie Hoffman in 1970 and published in 1971, and includes advice on growing marijuana, starting a pirate radio station, living in a commune, stealing food, shoplifting, stealing credit cards, making pipe bombs, and obtaining a free buffalo from the US Department of the Interior.
Many bookstores refused to carry the book, because so many patrons followed the advice of the book's title and stole it.