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10 Missing Masterpieces That Have Never Been Found

Photo By Photographee.eu From Shutterstock

There have been many famous art heists throughout history, from Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa being stolen from the Musée du Louvre in Paris in 1911, to the Nazi’s stealing Gustav Klimt’s Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer (amongst many other treasures across Europe) in 1941.

Thankfully, the Mona Lisa was recovered only two years later and the thief, Vincenzo Peruggia, was apprehended and subsequently jailed. The return of the Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer would take slightly longer, 65 years to be exact, before it was returned to the Klimt estate.

Art theft, sometimes called art-napping, is often done by criminals as a form of collateral to secure loans, or as a bargaining chip to reduce their sentences for any number of crimes. Other times the works are stolen to order for so called ‘art lovers’ or as a prestige item.

Occasionally the theft is perpetrated on the state level in times of war by a psychopathic and narcissistic failed artist who direct their troops to plunder, loot and sometimes destroy significant historical works of art to massage their over inflated ego, yes Hitler, we are looking at you.

Although some countries have a dedicated police force tasked with retrieving and repatriating these lost masterpieces, the statistics do not bode well as only a small percentage of stolen art is ever recovered, with estimates ranging from 5% to 10%.

However, the ten instances of art theft we are going to look at here have a heartbreaking percentage of zero. Maybe one day they will reappear and return to their rightful place as cultural touchstones and a record of the great achievements made by some of the most talented artists in history.

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