Top 5 Most Expensive Items Ever Stolen
5. The Empire State Building
Technically the most expensive, but never really stolen, so listed at 5. Through an elaborate process of forgery, New York Daily News managed to create documents for a bill of sale and other undisclosed legal documents convincing enough to make the New York City Office of the City Register transfer the title of the building to Nelots Properties, LLC. You noticed it too, huh? That Nelots is 'stolen' backwards? Of course, the Daily News returned ownership of the building to Empire State Land Associates shortly after…
4. The Davidoff-Morini Stradivarius
The prized possession of renowned violinist Erica Morini, left, was reported stolen in October of 1995, a month before the 91-year-old musician died. This violin, made by Antonio Stradivari in 1727, was taken from a locked closet in Morini’s Fifth Avenue apartment, and Morini died without knowing about the robbery. The estimated value: $3 million.
3. Cezanne’s ‘View of Auvers-sur-Oise’
The theft of a $4.5 million painting by Paul Cézanne in Oxford on millennium night was carried out by a professional burglar who created a smokescreen to foil security cameras. With the noise of his break-in masked by celebratory fireworks on Dec. 31, 1999, the burglar cut a hole in the roof of the Ashmolean museum and descended to its art gallery by rope ladder.
2. ‘Nativity with San Lorenzo and San Francesco’
According to the FBI, two thieves entered the Oratory of San Lorenzo in Palermo, Italy, in October 1969 and removed the 1609 painting by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio from its frame. Experts estimate its value at $20 million, the FBI said. The local Sicilian Mafia are generally considered to be the prime culprits in the theft although nobody actually knows who committed the crime.
1. The Mona Lisa
Those of you who have seen our top 5 audacious heists video already knew that the Mona Lisa was missing for 2 years at one point! Vincenzo Peruggia’s theft of the Mona Lisa has to be the greatest heist of all time. Vincenzo hid in the Louvre overnight and then walked out with the painting hidden under his coat. He hid the painting in his apartment for two years, but was captured in Italy when he tried to sell it. The Mona Lisa is worth around $700 million, making this robbery the most lucrative of all time.