Is it true that a group of journalists stole the Empire State Building for only one day? How did police catch the thief who stole one of Norway’s most famous paintings? Has anyone found a Stradivarius? Stradivarius was one of the most famous concert violinists of the 20th century.
Everyone knows that famous art and historical artifacts are some of the most valuable works, but what’s the real reason for stealing the most expensive items on earth? Below, you’ll learn about some of the world’s most expensive items and the dangerous operations involved in stealing them.
In 1994, one of Norway’s most prized paintings was stolen from a museum in Oslo. “The Scream”, painted by Edvard Munch, is worth about $120 million and is the most famous of the four versions of the painting. Munch finished the painting in 1893 and it was eventually placed in the National Gallery in Oslo.
The painting was stolen in under one minute on the opening day of the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer. The thieves used a ladder to reach a window on an upper floor, broke through the window, and cut down the painting. Days after the robbery, the Norwegian government had been demanded $1 million in ransom, but did not end up paying the money as they were unsure whether the demand was legitimate. Three months after the artwork was stolen, it was found fully in tact in a hotel about 40 miles outside of Oslo, but authorities still had no leads on the identities of the thieves.
A couple of years later, police had found pieces of the artwork’s frame in a small town north of Oslo and a note from the thieves. It wasn’t until January 1996 that four men were arrested and sentenced in relation to the robbery.