FBI Top 10 Art Thefts

Art crime is big business with an estimated $6 billion in losses annually! Here’s a list of the FBI’s Top 10 art crimes at the moment..

Iraqi Looted and Stolen Artifacts – The significant Statue of Entemena was recovered in 2006 but there are still many pieces missing.

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Theft – Thieves stole as much as $300 million worth of art from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston in 1990 with paintings by Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Manet being among them.

Theft of Caravaggio’s Nativity with San Lorenzo and San Francesco – Back in 1969 thieves stole Caravaggio’s Nativity with San Lorenzo and San Francesco from the Oratory of San Lorenzo, Palermo, Italy.

Theft of the Davidoff-Morini Stradivarius – In 1995 the Davidoff-Morini Stradivarius violin worth $3 million was stolen from the violinist Erica Morini’s New York City apartment.

The Van Gogh Museum Robbery – Two paintings by Vincent van Gogh called “View of the Sea at Scheveningen” and “Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen” were stolen from the Vincent Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam in 2002 and have never been recovered, even though the two thieves were caught.

Theft of Cezanne’s View of Auvers-sur-Oise – Paul Cezanne’s View of Auvers-sur-Oise was taken from the the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, England in 1999.

Theft of the Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney Murals, Panels 3-A and 3-B – Two Maxfield Parrish panels were cut from their frames in West Hollywood, California in 2002.

Theft from the Museu Chacara do Céu – In 2006 four paintings were stolen from the Museu Chacara do Céu, Rio de Janeiro. They included work by Salvador Dali, Henri Matisse, Claude Monet and Pablo Picasso.

Theft of Van Mieris’s A Cavalier – A self portrait by the Dutch Master Frans Van Mieris was stolen from the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney in 2007. It was taken in broad daylight, while the museum was open.

Theft from E.G. Bührle Collection, Zurich – The E.G. Bührle Collection in Zurich, Switzerland had 4 works stolen in 2008, with two important painting by Paul Cezanne and Edgar Degas still missing.

The FBI top ten list has changed a little from back in 2005.

About Dion

Australian artist and observer of things.. all kinds of things. I like a wide variety of art, from the weird and wonderful to the bold and beautiful.. and everything in between.


  1. Well, to top the list would be the Brits stolen frieze figures and Caryatid from the Acropolis. “Bought” from an occupying force, the Turks, under great duress and protestations from the Athenians themselves.

    And most else the Brits in their empire stole from around the world, and us, their successors. At the Getty, who gave them back to Italy anyway, got a great loan deal for being on good behavior, something the Brits should try. To the conqueror goes the spoils so they say. Except those who lost theirs during the Nazi regime are slowly getting theirs back, why not others?


  2. If the Brits hadn’t collected these treasures, you’d need to go all over the world to view them. Now all you need do is visit London. And look what foreigners do to their treasures: blow them up or loot them! Safer with us.

    Good idea to keep showing this Top 10 list, but why not post pictures too? A couple of years ago the FBI did a nice montage of stolen treasures. I posted it on my blog, but I haven’t noticed them create another montage since. Worth a look.

  3. Imagine if the Romans had taken a fancy to Stonehenge, packed it in crates and shipped it off to Italy…

  4. I am Henry vii I am, Henry viii I am, I am says:

    Oh look, it’s Donald unleashing his chip again!

    Rule Britannia!

  5. I am Henry viii I am, Henry viii I am, says:

    Oh look, it’s Donald unleashing his chip again!

    Rule Britannia!

  6. Rule Britannia!

    and again:

    Rule Britannia

    Hey this is fun!!!

    how about this one:

    Deutschland uber alles!


    let’s kill some people and steal their stuff…if we carry a flag it’s not robbery, but patriotism!

  7. Got the Brits all self defensive again. Cant get out of this one, no matter how much you try to twist it. Who wants to visit London? Cold, damp, bad food. I would rather see the works where they came from, or buy some legitamtely. Or in books. The Elgin marbles were damaged badly when cutting them down from the Parthenon, two works lost in a shipwreck, and other dropped and chipped as well as damagin those taht remained. Aint yours to have, unless you buy them from the owners.

    Hell, the Brits got terrible examples of modern art, never understood it, and have few great works from the last century and a half there. Too busy looting through empire. Outside of Picassos Three Dancers, havent seen anything there in your museums worth going to, except the stolen booty.

  8. Images can be seen at the links I added Ian. I thought of adding them to the post but thought it was too much work for me.

    Donald, I bet you was one of them boys that couldn’t help poking hornet nests just because you could.

  9. Yeah, but I was always too quick to ever get stung.

  10. Anonymous says:

    too quick to get stung maybe, but one day, one of those hornets will come back and bite him on the arse!

  11. I am a big man, a lil bite from an insignificant bug(er) wont stop me. Truth will out. I just follow it. Inspite of the slings and arrows of fools. Just momentary irritations, the prize is the thing, and that cant be possessed by anyone, just followed. Its always been there, just the fools(flies) and jesters(gnats) to self involved to see.

    And so the house of cards falls.
    art collegia delenda est

  12. This is a really great top ten list, it reminds me of the Thomas Crown Affair. I remember reading about the Vincent Van Gogh Museum heist. Well, there’s a reason that art thefts will continue to happen, it’s called all the private collectors who will shell out millions for them. Anyone can post their own list to our site http://www.toptentopten.com/. The coolest feature is you can let other people vote on the rankings of your list.

  13. FBI stinks, and biggest success of any FBI guy is actually work in FBI and not been called Robert.
    But you stink. You can not hide.

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