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.
The Saliera is a gold sculpture created by artist Benvenuto Cellini between 1540 to 1543 for Francis I of France. The sculpture was eventually passed to Charles IX, then Archduke Ferdinand II. The Saliera functions as a salt cellar and depicts Ceres, the goddess of agriculture and Neptune, the god of the sea. This gold-plated work of art is worth an estimated $60 million and was placed in Vienna’s Art History Museum.
In 2003, a security-alarm specialist named Robert Mang, became interested in the item and climbed up the building, broke a window, and hijacked the sculpture. Mang then placed it inside a box and buried it in the woods outside of Vienna. After burying the box, he sent a trident from the sculpture as a clue that he had information on its whereabouts and demanded a ransom. Upon learning that security camera evidence of him had reached the public, Mang confessed to the crime and was sent to prison. The Saliera was put back on display in a Vienna museum in 2006.