The Price Of Art Theft

In 1995, Stéphane Breitwieser picked up a bad habit of casually stealing incredibly valuable artworks right out of their museums. Over the course of six years, he stole about $1.4 billion worth of art from museums across Europe, but never attempted to sell any of them. Instead, he only stockpiled paintings, pottery, and sculptures in a dark room of his mother's house to keep them from being damaged by the sun. But his efforts to protect them were to no avail—when authorities finally arrested him, his mother destroyed several of the pieces by forcing them down the garbage disposal. In fact, the true loss in any art heist is the risk that the artwork could be irreparably damaged. Watch the videos below to learn about other massive art heists and how—or if—the works were retrieved.

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Written by Curiosity Staff September 4, 2014

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