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10 Art Pieces that Were Stolen and Never Recovered

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Thefts and robberies are the most common crimes in the world. While most thieves target money, gold, diamonds and jewellery, others target valuable pieces of art.

Many wealthy people like having iconic pieces of art in their private collection. While some pieces of art are sold off at auctions, most are tucked away safely in museums and art galleries. As private collectors are willing to pay a great deal of many for the right pieces, many thieves target galleries and museums.

Many pieces of art have been stolen over the century. While some have been recovered, others still remain missing. So today, we look at the top ten stolen pieces of art that have not been recovered.


10. The Storm on the Sea of Galilee by Rembrandt van Rijn

This painting, which was made in 1633 by Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rijn, was stolen in 1990, along with many other equally valuable pieces of art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts. Despite the best efforts by the FBI and the police, this painting has never been recovered.


09. Poppy Flowers by Vincent van Gogh

This painting, which was made by Vincent van Gogh just a few years before his death, was stolen in 2010 from  Cairo’s Mohamed Mahmoud Khalil Museum. It is yet to be found.


08.“Le Pigeon Aux Petits Pois” By Pablo Picasso

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Painted by Pablo Picasso in 1911, the Le Pigeon Aux Petits Pois was stolen along with five other paintings from the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris on 20 May 2010. Although the thief was caught a year later, the painting has never been recovered.


07. Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence

This painting, believed to have been created in 1609 by the Italian Baroque master Caravaggio, was stolen in 1969 from the Oratory of San Lorenzo in Palermo, Sicily. Many believed that this painting was stolen by the local Sicilian Mafia. However, it could never be proved and the painting is still yet to be recovered.


06.“The Concert” By Johannes Vermeer

The Concert

This was one of the paintings stolen during the 1990 Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist, where the thieves made off with 13 valuable pieces of art.


05.“The Just Judges” By Jan Van Eyck

The Just Judges is the lower left painting of the Ghent Altarpiece, painted by Jan van Eyck between 1430–32. This piece was stolen on April 10, 1934. On 25 November 1934,  a person named Arsène Goedertier confessed on his deathbed that he was the thief. However, he did not reveal the whereabouts of the painting, saying that he would take the secret to his grave.


04. View of Auvers-sur-Oise by Paul Cézanne

This iconic painting by Paul Cézanne was stolen in 2000 from Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. Despite the best efforts of the Scotland Yard, this painting is yet to be discovered.


03. Portrait of a Young Man by Raphael 

This 16th-century oil painting by Raphael disappeared around 1945. It was seized in 1939 by the Nazis, who used it to decorate Adolf Hitler’s Berlin residence. After it was taken by  Hans Frank (senior Nazi official) from Hitler’s house, it disappeared and has not been heard of since.


02. View Of The Sea At Scheveningen by van Gogh

This painting was stolen along with another masterpiece by two men who broke into the Van Gogh Museum in  Amsterdam through the roof. Although two men were arrested and convicted in 2004, the two pieces of art were never recovered.


01.“The Lovers: The Poet’s Garden IV” By Vincent Van Gogh


During the end of the 1930’s, Adolf Hitler seized many pieces of art from private collections and museums. Van Gogh’s “The Lovers: The Poet’s Garden IV” was one of the paintings. Despite the best efforts of the authorities after World War II, the piece has not been recovered.


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