History is filled with prized artifacts that have acquired notoriety over centuries. While some have been valuable from their creation, others have grown in wealth over time.  People covet priceless relics because it gives them a sense of worth to possess the unattainable. Haven't we all envied another based on their wealth and status? Movies such as the Ocean's Eleven series have made extravagant theft a form of entertainment. But the thieves who stole these expensive historic pieces are very real and have earned themselves a place in history for some of the most daring heists ever.


1. Mona Lisa's disappearing act

Possibly the most famous painting in the world, Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa disappeared from The Louvre in 1911. Handyman Vincenzo Peruggia worked at the museum and felt Da Vinci's work belonged in Italy, so he hid until closing and made off with the painting in the cover of darkness. Others were suspected, including Spanish artist Pablo Picasso, but all were exonerated. Peruggia might have succeeded with the theft if not for greed. He was caught attempting to sell the Mona Lisa to a gallery in Florence in 1913.

The Mona Lisa is packed for the transport to Tokyo. Louvre. Paris. 15th April 1974. Imagno / Getty Images

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