7 works of art that were stolen and have never been located

 Creating an emblematic and unique work of art is a privilege that few geniuses manage to have, although it is a risk since, having such valuable and important pieces, they are under the scrutiny of experts, critics and lovers of the foreign.

In Italy there is a rather alarming phenomenon that involves stealing works from museums . This is such a profitable activity for the kidnappers that it is compared to drug and arms trafficking; in fact, it is the third most frequent and practiced illegal activity in the European country.

Thus, we can say that it is a practice that has been going on for a long time, so much so that trade has not ceased for centuries, with 2019 being the year with fewer thefts, but not a few. The following are some works of art that have been stolen and searched for by locals and strangers, without success.

 Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence


Currently there are about 1.3 million archives of sought-after works of art, this being the authorship of the great Caravaggio, the most persecuted. It was in the oratory of San Lorenzo de Palermo, in Sicily in the 60s . It is believed that it was cut into pieces and sold on the black market, increasing its price.

 The Just Judges from the Ghent Altarpiece

Jan Van Eyck

In 1934 it was stolen from the Ghent Cathedral in Saint Bavo. One morning they found a note with a small legend indicating that it had been stolen by the Treaty of Versailles, in addition to the request for 1 million Belgian francs. The bishop refused to fall for extortion and preferred to negotiate with the alleged thief. He , even on his deathbed, did not want to reveal the location of the piece .

View of Auvers-sur-Oise

Paul Cezanne

The new millennium was a great time for some thieves to sneak into the Ashmolean museum. It was the new year and there was no good surveillance, so it was easy for them to carry out their crime. Despite being one of Cezanne’s most beautiful pieces, it was never sought after and it seems that it will continue to be so.

Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen

Vincent van Gogh

In 2002, this work was stolen from the museum named after the painter in Amsterdam. Initially, a reward of 870,000 pounds was offered for those who delivered it. At the same time they stole another important work and together they are worth 25 million pounds . Although they sentenced two thieves, they have not been able to decipher their whereabouts.

 The concert

Johannes Vermeer

In 1990 the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum was the victim of a massive and immensely expensive robbery, as several works were taken. This piece is valued at 130 million pounds and no clues to its whereabouts have ever been found. It is considered the most expensive missing piece at the time of being stolen.

Portrait of a young man


At the beginning of World War II, the Germans removed the piece from the Czartoryski Museum in Krakow. She was taken to Hitler’s residence in Berlin and then to Poland, at Wawel Castle. When World War II ended, he disappeared without leaving a trace of his whereabouts. Unfortunately, no one knows if it was destroyed or if it is in the hands of a German family.

Francis Bacon

Lucian Freud

For more than 30 years, Bacon’s portrait has been missing. In 1988 the painter discovered that his piece had disappeared and, determined to find it, he created his own poster to report the theft and try to find it, but no one helped him. The authorities overlooked the crime and he himself concluded that a Bacon fanatic was the one who extracted it.

Art thieves are not always mafias or audacious people who steal to style their lives. They are usually people who know the business and have been found to be curators or historians. In many cases, they do not seek remuneration, it is enough to have a renowned piece in their possession . The truth is that it is a criminal act that affects the entire sector.