Can You Ace This Art Heist Quiz?

Bambi Turner

One of the biggest art heists in history took place at which city's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990?

In 1990, thieves pulled off one of the biggest art thefts in history at Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. The collection of 13 paintings by artists including Vermeer, Rembrandt and Manet is worth an estimated $500 million.

What year did da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" walk out of the Louvre, with the help of a crooked handyman?

The "Mona Lisa," painted in the early 1500s, remains one of the world's most famous paintings. A handyman at the Louvre stole the piece in 1911, and it took two years for the museum to recover the work.

In 2009, a lucky woman bought which artist's "Landscape on the Banks of the Seine" for $7 at a flea market?

An American woman thought she hit the jackpot after she picked up the famous Renoir work at a flea market in 2009. After a long legal battle, the courts ordered her to return it to the Baltimore Museum of Art. Turns out, the work had been stolen from the museum back in 1951.

How did thieves disguise themselves to break into the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990?

A pair of brazen thieves disguised themselves as police officers to break into the Gardner Museum in 1990. In 2017, the museum doubled its reward for return of the stolen paintings from $5 million to $10 million.

Which very well-known Edvard Munch painting has been stolen at least twice, in 1994 and 2004?

Poor Edvard Munch. His iconic painting "The Scream" is a favorite target of thieves. It disappeared from an Oslo museum in 1994, and then again in 2004. While it was found quickly the first time, it took two years to recover the work after the second theft.

What nickname is given to the repeatedly stolen "Portrait of Jacob de Gheyn III" by Rembrandt?

The "Portrait of Jacob de Gheyn III" -- a Dutch merchant -- has been stolen so many times that it's earned the nickname "Takeaway Rembrandt." It's been taken at least four times since the '60s, which is more than any other known artwork.

Which artist's picture of Poppy Flowers was stolen in 2010 from an Egyptian museum?

Van Gogh's "Poppy Flowers" is valued at more than $55 million. That's really bad news, considering the painting was stolen from an Egyptian museum back in 2010. It was previously stolen from the same museum back in 1977, and was fortunately recovered after a decade in the hands of thieves.

A portrait of Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire, by which English artist has spent decades lost or stolen over the centuries?

Gainsborough's portrait of the Duchess wearing a fine black hat was lost in 1806, and didn't reappear until the 1840s. It was stolen in 1876, and surfaced once again in 1994, where it sold at auction for half a million dollars. Hopefully, the new owner keeps it under close watch.

Looted artifacts from which country made the FBI's Top Ten Art Crimes list, which was released in 2005?

According to the FBI, somewhere between 7,000 and 10,000 priceless artifacts were looted from Iraq between 2003 and 2005. A few, like a statue of King Entemena of Lagash, have since been recovered, but the majority are still lost.

What the heck is a Stradivarius?

In the late 1600s and early 1700s, Antonio Stradivari made a series of violins that bear the name Stradivarius. They are extremely valuable, making them a huge target for thieves. Once such instrument worth more than $3 million was stolen from a New York apartment in 1995 and has yet to be recovered, as of 2017.

What fancy object, crafted by Cellini and worth $60 million, was stolen in 2003?

Cellini's 1543 salt cellar -- a fancy salt shaker -- is made from ivory and gold, and it's also one of the artist's few surviving pieces. After it was stolen from a museum in 2003, it was found buried in a forest in 2006. It has since been valued at more than $60 million.

A museum dedicated to which artist, who painted "Starry Night," experienced the theft of two paintings worth tens of millions in 2002?

Thieves stole two paintings from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in 2002, and it wasn't until 2016 that the works were recovered. The museum experienced a similar heist in 1991, but that time, the paintings were recovered in less than an hour.

One of which artist's paintings of Waterloo Bridge in London likely burned in an oven shortly after it was stolen from a Rotterdam museum?

Monet did a series of famous paintings of London bridges. One of these paintings of "Waterloo Bridge, London" was stolen from a Rotterdam gallery in 2012, along with other works by Picasso and Matisse. The thief's mom was so anxious to protect her son that she burned the paintings in her oven, resulting in an estimated $130 to $260 million worth of art going up in smoke.

Who painted "The Storm on the Sea of Galilee," which disappeared from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990?

Rembrandt's famous seascape was stolen, along with 12 other works, in the notorious 1990 Gardner heist. Valued at more than $100 million, it's one of Rembrandt's most valuable works.

Picasso's painting "The Pigeon with _________" was stolen from a Paris museum in 2010.

Picasso's "The Pigeon with Green Peas" disappeared from a Paris museum in 2010. It was one of five paintings stolen, with the lost valued at over $100 million. The thief claimed that he threw the paintings in the trash immediately after stealing them, in an effort to conceal the evidence of his crime.

A room made from six tons of what valuable material was stolen by the Nazis and lost to the ages during WWII?

The legendary Amber Room of St. Petersburg was dismantled and packed into 27 crates. By 1943, the Nazis had spirited it away and hidden it in a still-undiscovered location.

The Nazis stole and displayed a self-portrait of which artist worth $100 million from Poland before it was lost in the horrors of WWII?

Painted in 1513 by Raphael, the "Portrait of a Young Man" is worth an estimated $100 million. It hasn't been seen since the final days of WWII and may have been destroyed in the war.

A self-portrait by which Dutch master was stolen from a museum in Stockholm in 2000 and recovered in Copenhagen five years later?

Rembrandt completed a huge series of self-portraits, but it was his 1630 portrait of himself in a beret and gathered shirt that was targeted by thieves in 2000. The painting, done on a sheet of copper, was recovered in 2005 and is valued at $37 million.

"Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I," otherwise known by what name, was returned to its rightful owners in 2006 after being stolen by the Nazis during WWII?

Austrian artist Gustav Klimt painted two portraits of Ms. Adele Block-Bauer. The first, known as "The Lady in Gold," was finally recovered in 2006 after being stolen during WWII. The second was sold for $150 million by none other than Oprah Winfrey in 2017.

Who painted "The Astronomer," a work seized by the Nazis in WWII?

Painted in 1668 by Dutch artist Vermeer, "The Astronomer" was stolen by the Nazis during WWII. It was returned to its owner after the war with the addition of a small swastika stamp on the back and has hung in the Louvre since 1983.

British artist Francis Bacon famously recreated a lost version of what painter's work, "Painter on the Road to Tarascon"?

Van Gogh's "Painter on the Road to Tarascon," or "Painter on the Road to Work," was bombed during WWII and assumed to be destroyed in the subsequent fires. It was recreated in the '50s by Francis Bacon.

In 1890, Cezanne painted a very famous and very valuable picture of a boy donning which of these?

Cezanne's "Boy in the Red Vest" was stolen from Zurich in 2008, and recovered in Serbia four years later. It was valued at $91 million.

Why did a thief announce plans to sue the Kunsthal Museum in Rotterdam in 2013?

Six Romanian men pulled off a brazen heist on the Kunsthal Museum in 2012, making off with priceless works by Picasso, Monet and Gauguin. After he was caught, one of the thieves announced plans to sue the museum for its lax security, which allowed him to pull off the robbery.

It's had plenty of different owners -- both legit and non-legit -- but today you can view the Hope Diamond at which institution?

Known for its large size and brilliant blue hue, the Hope Diamond once belonged to the French monarchy -- until it was stolen during the French Revolution. It's had a dozen or so owners since then, until it was bought by Harry Winston in the 1939. In 1958, it was donated to the Smithsonian and remains there to this day.

The city of Palermo in what country is home to the Oratory of San Lorenzo?

In 1969, Caravaggio's "Nativity with San Lorenzo and San Francesco" disappeared from its frame at the Oratory of San Lorenzo in Palermo, Italy. As of 2017, it's still missing, but remains on the FBI's Top Ten Art Crimes list.

Which surrealist artist painted "Cartel de Don Juan Tenorio," which was stolen from a New York gallery in 2012?

Dali's "Cartel de Don Juan Ternorio" walked out of a New York gallery in 2012. It was sent back by a mysterious person in Greece just a few weeks later, and authorities aren't sure who was behind the good deed.

Who painted "Madonna of the Yarnwinder," which was stolen in 2003?

Painted by da Vinci, "Madonna of the Yarnwinder" was stolen from a Scottish castle in 2003 by a couple of guys pretending to be tourists. The work was recovered from a law office in 2007.

Which cubist artist painted "The Hairdresser," which was stolen in 2001 and recovered in 2015?

Picasso painted "The Hairdresser:" in 1911, and the work was stolen in 2001 from a museum in Paris. It turned up in 2015 when U.S. Customs officers discovered it in a package disguised as a Christmas present.

Which artist's work, "The Concert," was painted in 1664 and stolen from the Gardner Museum in 1990?

Vermeer's "The Concert" features a trio playing music, and has been lost since the 1990 theft at the Gardner Museum. It's valued at $200 million -- more than any known lost piece of art.

What percentage of stolen art is ever recovered?

Once a piece of artwork is gone, it's almost certainly gone for good. Most thieves quickly learn that stolen artwork is really tough to sell, so they eventually give up and destroy the evidence. That means that only five to ten percent of work reported stolen is ever recovered.

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About This Quiz

Great works by artists like Picasso or Rembrandt are innovative, thought-provoking and completely irreplaceable -- which makes them incredibly valuable. Just like any other valuable objects, famous works of art are routinely targeted by thieves, and once they've been stolen, they are rarely recovered. Take our quiz to test your knowledge of the most brazen heists in the history of the art world!

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