Steals of the Century [Infographic]
History's Priceless Stolen Items
Some of the greatest heists of all time have taken place in the past decade of history. As security measures become more heightened, thieves and criminal gangs get even bolder. Some of the most confounding and high profile items ever to be stolen include a world famous Renaissance painting, millions of diamonds, a huge archaeological artefact of colossal proportions, a famous war General’s lock of hair and the blood of a Pope.
In January 2014, an ornate gold object was stolen from a small mountain top church in Italy. The historical significance of this item was the fact that it contained the blood of the late Pope John Paul II. It is believed it was the workings of a satanic cult and the item is still missing. Later in the year in April, thieves broke into a museum in Melbourne, Australia, and made off with rare items that belonged to Napoleon, including a lock of his hair. 10 items were taken in total and they are still missing with police believing that they are destined for a private collection.
In 2012, an extremely rare dinosaur skeleton was smuggled into the United States, stolen from an archaeological dig in Mongolia, Asia, by a Florida based collector who falsified documents to get it passed by US customs. He tried to sell it at a New York based auction, but it was recovered as lawyers for the Mongolian President insisted it could not go ahead on the grounds that it has been stolen.
One of the biggest diamond heists off all time took place in Harry Winston’s in Paris in 2008. Male thieves posing as women broke in at closing time and made off with $108 million worth of diamonds. A global jewelry crime gang called the ‘Serbian Pink Panthers’ is said to be behind the heist. The diamonds have never been recovered.
Prior to all of these unbelievable crimes, perhaps the biggest took place decades earlier in 1911, when the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Lourve in Paris and remained missing for 2 years. When the thieves tried to sell it to an Art Dealer, they were apprehended. It became the most infamous painting of all time after that.
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Steals of the Century
History's Priceless Stolen Items
The Mona Lisa
by Renaissance Master Painter Leonardo Da Vinci
at The Louvre Museum, Paris, France
Who Stole It?
3 men stole it from the museum. It became an internatonal news sensation. The masterpiece became the most famous in the world.
RECOVERY: It remained missing for more than 2 years. When the thieves tried to sell it to an art dealer, they were apprehended and the painting was returned to Louvre.
$108 million dollars worth of Diamonds
at Harry Winston Jewellery store, Paris, France
Who stole it?
4 men, 3 posing as women, broke into the store just before closing time. They broke displays and filled suitcases with diamonds. The Serbian 'Pink Panthers', a global jewllery heist group are the chief suspects.
MISSING: The diamonds have never been recovered.
A Huge 75% complete Tyrannosaurus Bataar Skeleton
came from a dig in Mongolia, Asia
(sold at auction)
Whole stole it?
Florida based collector Eric Prokopi, who falsified customs documents to illegaly smuggle it into the USA.
RECOVERY: It sold at auction in New York in 2012 for $1 million. Laywers on behalf of the Mongolian President insisted the sale could not go ahead on grounds that the dinosaur had been stolen.
A lock of Napolean's Hair
at Briars Park Museum, Melbourne, Australia
in April 2014
Who stole it?
Thieves entered through a bathroom window and forced open a cabinet containing rare items linked to the military leader. These included a glass frame containing his hair, a ring, and a snuff box.
MISSING: The 10 items are still missing. Police believe they are destined for a private collection.
An ornate of gold object containing blood from the Late Pope John Paul II
at The Church of St Peter of Ienca, Abruzzo Mountains, Italy
in January 2014
RECOVERY: The theft was discovered by a priest from the religious sanctuary, which is dedicated to the memory of John Paul II. The item is still missing.
Southern Cross Protection
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- Some of the greatest heists of all time have taken place in the past decade of history.
- As security measures become more heightened, thieves and criminal gangs get even bolder.
- Some of the most confounding and high profile items ever to be stolen include a world famous Renaissance painting, millions of diamonds, a huge archaeological artefact of colossal proportions, a famous war General’s lock of hair and the blood of a Pope.