12 Most Iconic Things In The World That Got Stolen

Thefts and robberies have probably existed ever since the birth of mankind. Although nowadays there are various technological advancements to prevent thefts, still it doesn’t stop a thief from stealing something he/she really wants to steal.

Often either due to lack of proper security or maybe due to the thief’s intelligence, many iconic things have gone missing time and again.

Here are some of the most historical things that have been stolen.

1. The Sword of Tipu Sultan

Charles IV, Duke of Richmond presented the sword to the Maharajas of Mysore and the sword went missing from their palace in the 1920s.

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Tipu Sultan used many swords. But the sword we are talking about is the historic golden sword he used to attack Capt. Woodhall. Even though CBI closed the case around a decade ago, the original location of the sword is still unknown.


2. The Kohinoor diamond

The diamond was stolen by Nadir Shah and taken to Persia.

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The Kohinoor is probably the most precious diamond in the World. Although it belongs to the Queen of England today, the diamond was once a priceless possession of many Indian Kings. Often many kingdoms used to wage war against each other just to procure the diamond.

After Nadir Shah was assassinated the diamond was passed on to his successors who clearly couldn’t hold on the diamond for long and it made its way back to India.


3. Tagore’s Nobel prize

Both the Nobel and the citation was stolen from the safety vault at the Vishwa Bharati University. The thieves took advantage of the weak security.

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Tagore’s Nobel prize was priceless on many counts. Not only was it the first Nobel prize won by an Indian, but it was also the first Nobel prize to be awarded to an Asian for literature. The Nobel was kept under the possession of the Vishwa Bharati University. But due to the lack of security measures it was stolen along with many other valuables.


4. The Mona Lisa

In 1911, Vincenzo Perugia, an Italian immigrant, and Louvre employee walked into the museum, placed the Mona Lisa under his coat and simply walked out.

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The lack of security which led to the theft of this painting is absolutely shocking. The thief wanted to take the painting back to Italy, where he thought it actually belongs.

Monalisa was not the only painting by Leonardo Da Vinci that was stolen. His famous painting known as the Madonna with the Yarnwinder, valued at between $45 million and $50 million, was stolen from the Duke of Buccleuch’s home in Scotland.

5. The Scream

The iconic painting by taken off the walls by two gunmen forcefully.

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The painting is considered as one of the World’s most recognizable pieces of art. It was stolen from the Munch Museum in Oslo and the guards could not even stop it. The painting was recovered, after almost two years.


6. The Saliera

Known as the Monalisa of sculptures. This 16th-century gold sculpture worth $57 million was stolen from a Vienna museum in the year 2003.

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The clever thief somehow managed to evade the motion sensors and stole it without creating any fuss. Interestingly, after stealing the artifact, he even tried to negotiate a price for the famous sculpture which ultimately led to his arrest. Thankfully, the sculpture was unharmed.


7. Rare Dinosaur skeletons

A man called Prokopi stole skeletons worth more than a million dollars. He was caught when he was trying to sell them at an auction.

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The guy stole the skeletons of over half a dozen dinosaurs. After the FBI caught him, the skeletons were returned to the museum where they were stolen.


8. Van Gogh’s paintings

Two thieves broke into the Van Gogh Museum and stole around 20 priceless paintings.

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Van Gogh’s paintings are valued in millions today. So it hardly comes as a surprise that many people have tried to steal his paintings time and again.

Interestingly, a few years later, the Van Gogh Museum witnessed another theft and this time two of his paintings were missing.


9. Iraqi artifacts

Ancient artifacts of immense historical importance including the famous statue of King Entemena of Lagash were stolen from a museum in Iraq.

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This was not just a case of theft but also vandalism. The robbers not only looted all the historic valuables but they also caused a great damage to the museum property. After the famous robbery, the museum was in a depleted state.


10. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Theft

Two thieves dressed as policemen entered the premises and stole paintings worth 300 million dollars.

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It is one of the greatest art heists ever committed. The thieves stole some of the most iconic paintings and the sheer market value of these paintings makes it stand out.


11. The Davidoff-Morini Stradivarius

This famous violin worth 3.5 million, made in 1727, by Antonio Stradivari, was stolen from the apartment of famous violinist Erica Morini.

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This one makes it to the FBI’s Top Ten Art Crimes List. Till date, no one knows who stole it and how it actually went missing.


12. Museu Chacara Do Céu Theft

The thieves took advantage of Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival and stole some of the greatest artworks by Monet, Matisse, Picasso and Dalí, worth a total of £30 million

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This theft would remind you some Hollywood movie. The thieves planned their robbery during the Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival. This made it easy for them to escape without much difficulty.

It makes me wonder that even with so much technology are these iconic things really safe.

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