While there are many items that we consider to be “priceless”, everything has a value and this list just goes to show that no item is safe from the hands of a dedicated and masterful thief.
The Mona Lisa
Valued at more than $2 Billion, the Mona Lisa is one of the most recognizable faces in the world. Painted by Leonardo da Vinci himself, it’s the prize of France – and the Louvre in which it stands. Back in 1911, the Louvre’s handyman – a man called Vincenzo Perugia – decided to take the painting for himself and he did just that after the museum was closed for the night. The painting was retrieved years later.
Wizard of Oz Red Ruby Slippers
The Red Ruby Slippers from the Wizard of Oz was on display in the Judy Garland Museum in Minnesota in 2005 when they were stolen. The shoes were thought to be worth anywhere between $2 and $3 million. It was only in 2018 when they were eventually recovered by the FBI.
The Empire State Building
You wouldn’t think a building could be stolen but the New York Daily News did just that in order to transfer the building – valued at $1.89 billion – illegally using false paperwork. This was done in order to prove that there was a loophole within the law that needed re-evaluating – and that was done shortly afterward.
Painted by Johannes Vermeer, the Concert is a painting said to be worth $200 million. In 1990, it was stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
Munch’s The Scream
The Scream is a painting that was done by Edvard Munch and one of the versions of this popular and famous work of art was stolen from Norway’s National Gallery back in 1944. The group who stole the painting asked for a ransom of $1 million but they were denied and the group was eventually captured.
The Davidoff-Morini Stradivarius
The Stradivarius is a violin estimated to be valued at $3.5 million. Crafted by Antonio Stradivari back in 1972, it came to be owned by Erica Morini who was a well-known violinist. The violin was stolen from Morini’s apartment and her death followed shortly afterward.
The Buddhist Bell
A thief snuck into a monastery in Tacoma and stole a 3,000-pound bell with the help of a forklift. The police were able to recover it before the thief completed the sale of the bell.
Russian Faberge Eggs
The Royal Family of Russia had eggs created for them by the House of Faberge and when the royal line met their end, the eggs were nearly lost. Seven of the fifty that were created were located and can now be seen in museums.
The Cellini Salt Cellar
The 16th century sculpture called The Saliera was created for King Francis 1 and was stolen from a museum in Vienna back in 2003.
Mongolian Dinosaur Bones
Eric Prokopi smuggled out $1 million worth of dinosaur bones from Mongolia into the US. He was caught shortly afterward and spent three months in jail for his troubles.
The Amber Room
In 1941, the Nazi’s stole the 18th century Amber Room – which is essentially a chamber made from gold – and it remains lost to this day.