Most Expensive Articles Ever Stolen
If you think that valuable artifacts and other expensive arts would be guarded with tighter security and safety you might be wrong. Considering the number of historic and valuable pieces of art and other items that are generally the properties of museums and religious places the security at these places was surprisingly lax.
However our number on the list of most expensive articles ever stolen will surely surprise you. Here is a look at the top ten most expensive articles ever stolen by con artists, thieves and ingenuous robbers.
1. Empire State Building ($2b)
If you thought that it is impossible to ‘steal’ a building think again. The New York Daily News proved it by opening a fake company (Nelots Properties LLC) in a bid to prove the laxity of the New York state authorities and forged documents, complete with a notary seal and successfully transferred the ownership. They did ‘return’ the building the next day.
2. Mona Lisa ($2b)
The world’s most famous painting was stolen and was lost for more than 2 years when a glass case worker at the Louvre Museum in Paris, Vincenzo Peruggia, simply walked out with the painting in 1911 by hiding it under his cloak. He was finally caught trying to sell it 2 years later by the police and the painting recovered.
3. The Concert ($300m)
Johannes Vermeer’s painting ‘The Concert’ was stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston in 1900 by thieves along with other art-pieces worth $500m in total. The thieves daringly disguised themselves as Boston police officers and walked off with the paintings and in spite of a $5m reward announced by the FBI have not been found till date.
4. Four Paintings ($139m)
Three men in February 2008 stole 4 paintings from the E. G. Buhrle Art Museum, Zurich worth an estimated $139m. These included Claude Monet’s ‘Poppies Near Vetheuil’, Edgar Degas’ ‘Count Lepic and his Daughters’, Paul Cezanne’s ‘Boy in the Red Waist Coat’ and Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘Blossoming Chestnut Branches’. The paintings have not been recovered till date.
5. Five Picasso paintings ($125m and above)
6. KLM Diamonds ($118m)
7. Harry Winston Jewelers ($108m)
8. Antwerp Diamond Center ($100m)
9. Cellini Salt Cellar ($65m)
10. ‘Madonna of Yarnwinder’-Leonardo da Vinci ($40m)
These are some of the most famous and expensive articles ever stolen. Some show the sheer genius of thieves while some show the extreme stupidity that resulted in catching the thieves. Some of these articles have been successfully recovered with the robbers behind bars whereas police are still searching for the perpetrators in the remaining heists.