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Thursday 30 November 2023 Dublin: 2°C

The FBI’s 10 most sought-after pieces of stolen art

A Renoir, a Picasso and a very pricey violin count among the lost masterpieces.

BOND TITAN Jeffrey Gundlach got a nasty surprise when his stunning art collection was stolen recently.

News emerged Monday that he plans to pay one of the highest rewards in history to recover his paintings.

But Gundlach isn’t the only collector to lose his goods.

The FBI has long tracked and documented massive art thefts, including one heist of six works of art collectively worth as much as €230 million.

The FBI claims that the stolen “cultural property” crime business counts for about €4.6m in losses annually. To this end they have an “art crime team” of 14 special agents on the hunt for these lost masterpieces and a National Stolen Art File which is a computerised index of reported art thefts which other law enforcement agencies around the world can access to help in the recovery process.

The FBI’s 10 most sought-after pieces of stolen art
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  • Rembrandt's The Storm on the Sea of Galilee

    This was one of six works of art, worth a total of €230m, stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. (Image: Wikipedia)
  • Van Gogh's View of the Sea at Scheveningen

    This and his Congregation Leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen, worth €23m together, were stolen from the Vincent Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in December 2002. (Image:
  • Caravaggio's Nativity

    This one, worth €15.4m, was stolen from the Oratory of San Lorenzo in Palermo, Italy in October 1969. (Image: FBI)
  • Maxfield Parrish oil paintings

    Two oil painting by Parrish - this is panel 3A - was stolen from a gallery in West Hollywood, California, in July 2002. Together, they are valued at €3m. (Image: FBI)
  • Cezanne's View of Auvers-sur-Oise

    The €2.9m work was stolen from the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England on New Year's Eve 1999. (Image: Wikipedia)
  • The Davidoff-Morini Stradivarius

    This Stradivarius violin was stolen from a New York City apartment in October 1995. It is worth about €2.3m. (Image: FBI)
  • Van Mieris self-portrait

    This self-portrait by Frans Van Mieris, a painting also known as A Cavalier, was stolen from the Art Gallery of New South Wales on June 10, 2007 and is worth more than €770,000. (Image: FBI)
  • Renoir's Madeleine Leaning on her Elbow...

    This €770,000 painting - full title Madeleine Leaning on Her Elbow with Flowers in Her Hair - was stolen during an armed robbery from a home in Houston, Texas, last year. (Image: FBI)
  • Dali's Two Balconies

    This Salvador Dali was one of four works which were stolen from the Museu Chacara Do Céu in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on 24 February 2006. No-one has put a total value on them but considering the other three missing artworks include a Picasso, a Matisse and a Monet, you can think of a number - and add a zero to it. (Image: FBI)
  • Statue of King Entemena of Lagash

    This was one of the thousands of artifacts of almost immeasurable total value stolen from the Iraqi National Museum in March and April 2003. This one WAS actually recovered, on 25 July, 2006. (Image: Encyclopedia Britannica Blog)

- Abby Rogers

Published with permission from
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