Art & Design Magazine

10 Most Daring Robberies Of All Time

By Inspirion @GoodMood20

10 Most Daring Robberies Of All Time


Do you think it is possible to steal the Empire State Building – a 102-story skyscraper? No, you say? Well think again. Did you know that the famous painting by Da Vinci – “Mona Lisa” was also stolen once? Yeap that happened also. But don’t beat yourself about it, to be honest we didn’t know about few of these ourselves.

Daring thieves have broken into museums, castles, and even personal homes throughout history to swindle artistic masterpieces. It doesn’t happen often given how much art is out there, but when it does — and especially when the thieves get away with it — it makes global headlines. Unlike most robberies, art theft is typically more about obsession than it is making money — the thieves steal for their own personal collections. But as we mentioned this list includes not only the art robberies but also a couple of robberies which you will not believe existed even when you’re done reading about them.

So today we present to you the 10 most daring robberies of all time. Oh and by the way, some of the stolen things mentioned bellow have not yet been found.

1) Mona Lisa

10 Most Daring Robberies Of All Time
One of the most daring robberies in history was the kidnapping of the Louvre’s famous painting by the great master Leonardo da Vinci – “Mona Lisa”. This happened in 1911. Vincenzo Peruggia who worked as the Louvre glazier, one day noticed that the picture is not guarded so he could not resist the temptation to steal it, Vincenzo went straight to the painting and took it off the wall. On his way down the stairs he got rid of the frame, then he simply folded the “Mona Lisa” and hid it under his coat, after what he simply left the museum as if nothing had happened. For two years he kept her in his Paris apartment in a suitcase with a double bottom. The robber was caught while trying to sell a stolen painting in Italy.

2) The Scream

10 Most Daring Robberies Of All Time
“The Scream” by Edvard Munch, is one of the most recognizable paintings in the world. It hangs next to the famous painting of Mona Lisa, and it was also a victim of daring robbers. Munch lived in the years 1863-1944 and during his life painted several versions of this famous portrait. In 2004, two armed masked men burst into the Munch Museum in Oslo, by threatening the guards they broke they way further and grabbed the painting, after which they casually ran out of the museum. For whole two years the fate of this stolen masterpiece was unknown. Suddenly the stolen painting was unexpectedly found, but under unclear circumstances.

3) Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers from “The Wizard Of Oz”

10 Most Daring Robberies Of All Time
These red satin shoes, in which Dorothy (Judy Garland) appears in the famous film in 1939 – “The Wizard of Oz”, are estimated at 1.2 million dollars. At the time, these “witch shoes” could be seen in the Museum of Judy Garland in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 2005, the shoes simply evaporated from the museum. Nobody saw anything, and no one could even speculate how they disappeared. Although the investigators had two suspects, the case remains unsolved to this day.

4) Art Works Stolen from the  Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston

10 Most Daring Robberies Of All Time
On March 18, 1990, two unknown thieves orchestrated an art heist estimated at around $500 million — the largest in history — at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The duo made off with a dazzling collection that included works by Rembrandt, Degas, Manet, and artifacts dating back to the Shang Dynasty. More than 20 years later, the case remains unsolved, and the works remain missing.

5) Empire State Building

10 Most Daring Robberies Of All Time
Yes, yes, this huge 102-story skyscraper located in Manhattan, New York City, was once stolen. However, it was not a real theft, but only a provocation. Two journalists from The New York Daily News drew up fake documents, created a bogus notary stamp and filed paperwork with the city and successfully took ownership of the $2 billion property. To further enhance the absurdity of the heist, included on the bogus paperwork were original “King Kong” star Fay Wray as witness and Willie Sutton, the notorious bank robber, as the notary. Nearly 24 hours after they pulled the trick the journalists returned the building to its owners and they admitted that they forged the documents to show how easy it is to steal even a skyscraper.

6) La Saliera Sculpture

10 Most Daring Robberies Of All Time
Robert Mang, who pulled off Austria’s biggest art heist when he stole the famous 16th century gold-plated sculpture, La Saliera, in 2003, said he was drunk at the time he did it. Mang buried the figurine in a forest outside Vienna, but ultimately turned himself in. He was sentenced to four years in prison for his self-described “spontaneous prank.”

7) A 3,000 Pound Bell

10 Most Daring Robberies Of All Time
How often do you go to church (or in this case, a Buddhist temple) and, upon hearing the bell think, “I want one!” Well, some other guys apparently did, and they decided to make their dream come true.You can imagine the surprise of the Buddhist monks at a temple in Tacoma, Washington when they noticed their enormous bell was missing. Especially considering the thing weighted 3,000 fucking pounds. During the theft they had to use at least a forklift and a truck, and at least someone had to hear something. However, the theft was executed so softly that none of the monks heard anything suspicious. The monks got their bell back a year later, when some dumbass tried to sell it and some other junk for $500. The buyer went right to the cops, ruining his own chances to have a huge kickass bell on his porch.

8) The Biggest Wardrobe In The World

10 Most Daring Robberies Of All Time
The biggest dressing room in the world(or at least it called so in the media) was owned by a 52-year-old Theresa Roemer – businesswoman and former “Miss Texas.” Three-storey walk-in closet has an area of ​​over 300 square meters. In her 30 years she gathered an extensive collection of luxury handbags, shoes, dresses and accessories worth more than $ 2 million. In early August of this year Mrs. Roemer’s closet was kidnapped. When she and her husband was not at home, the robbers sneaked through a window in the bathroom and stole not only the designer clothes and accessories, but also a locket with a lock of hair from the deceased son of Theresa Roemer. The investigation is still ongoing, and the perpetrators are still walking free.

9) Dinosaur Bones

10 Most Daring Robberies Of All Time
Four years ago, the world news reported that a man named Eric Prokopi (from Florida) stole the bones of dinosaur skeletons from Mongolia, the cost of which was estimated at $ 1 million. He even managed to smuggle the bones in to the United States, but was caught when he tried to sell them at an auction. What is surprising is that the offender received a very light sentence – just one month in prison. Dinosaur bones were returned to Mongolia.

10) Davidoff-Morini Stradivarius Violin

10 Most Daring Robberies Of All Time
This case was in the FBI’s top 10 thefts of works of art. In October 1995, from the apartment of the famous violinist Erica Morini, Stradivarius violin from 1727 was stolen – the cost of the violin was estimated at $ 3.5 million. It is still unclear why someone stole it, because he can not sell it, because the black market for such antiques does not exist. What makes stealing even more daring and tragic is the fact that Erica Morini was at home when the robbery took place. Shortly after, Ms Morini died due to a heart disease and she never found out about the robbery. Case of the missing Davidoff-Morini Stradivarius violin is still not solved.

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