Expensive – and stolen!

Posted on 31 July 2020

Luxury lifestyle and luxury items always come with a security risk. Check out our list of some of the most expensive things that have actually been stolen- despite their size, weight or value.

Mona Lisa.

Called ‘The most famous painting in the world’ it needs no introduction. If you’ve ever visited it in person, you’ll know its not very large at all, but it certainly has its ultra high level security.  In 1911 a handyman working at the Louvre took the painting. He hid the painting in a cupboard until the museum closed and then took off with it. It was not recovered until 1913 when he tried to sell it to an art dealer, who funnily enough knew what it was. It is one of the most expensive things ever stolen, with a price tag of well over $2billion.



The Davidoff-Morini Stradivarius.

A $3.5 million violin was stolen from a famous cancer violinist Erica Morini. Not the only Stradivarius to be stolen but the Davidoff-Morini Stadivarius has still not been recovered. it was stolen from her home whilst Erica  was hospitalised at 91 years old. She had played this violin all her life. Made in 1727 by Stradivarius, it is in the FBI’s Art Crimes most wanted list. 


Ruby red slippers.

There’s no place like home. These famous ruby red shoes that Judy garland wore as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz were stolen from the Judy garland Museum in 2005 and have never been seen since. Valued at around $3million.


Copper Vietnamese Bell.

In 2005 the Buddhist Monastery in Washington had the largest prayer bell stolen. Looking like the one pictured below and weighing in at over 3,000lbs (!) it was stolen when the Monks were deep in meditation by, the police believe, a thief with a forklift.  He tried to sell it three years later and then it was recovered and returned to the Monks. 


Rembrandt’s The Storm on the Sea of Galilee.

The beautiful ‘ship in a storm’ painting – the only seascape by the dutch artist- was stolen in 1990 along with 12 other paintings. Its valued at $100million at least. It has never been recovered.


The Empire State Building.

Obviously not actually taken anywhere, but the building deeds were. In 2008 the New York Daily News exposed a loophole in the law of how city building transactions were recorded, and transferred the deeds of ownership to the Empire State Building to the newspaper. The newspaper wrote the story, exposed the loophole and then returned the building to the rightful owners. The loophole was indeed tightened up!