World’s most valuable treasures that are still missing


Throughout history, fantastic treasures from various cultures are stolen or otherwise gone missing. Often their theft or disappearance happens during times of war or disaster, once they can’t be protected or when a military unit decides to require treasures back home as a trophy. Sometimes these treasures are recovered, but many are still missing. Here, Live Science takes a glance at a number of these lost treasures which will never be found. a number of these treasures are now likely destroyed — most scholars believe the Ark of the Covenant is long gone — but some should exist and be recovered — like the crown jewels of Eire , a 333-carat pink diamond and mysterious treasure depicted during a Dead Sea Scroll.

The Amber Room

Constructed within the Catherine Palace within the 18th century in Tsarskoe Selo, near St. Petersburg, the Amber Room contained gold-gilded mosaics, mirrors and carvings, along side panels constructed out of about 1,000 pounds (450 kilograms) of amber. Tsarskoe Selo was captured by Germany in 1941, during war II, and therefore the room’s panels and art were disassembled and brought to Germany. They haven’t been seen since, and it’s possible, they’re now destroyed. A re-creation of the Amber Room are often seen today within the Catherine Palace.

Sarcophagus of Menkaure

The pyramid of the Egyptian pharaoh Menkaure is that the smallest of the three pyramids that were constructed at Giza around 4,500 years ago. within the 1830s, English officer Howard Vyse explored the Giza pyramids, sometimes using destructive techniques (his use of explosives being the foremost notorious) to form his way through the structures. Among his discoveries at Giza was an ornate sarcophagus found in Menkaure’s pyramid that Vyse tried to ship to England in 1838, aboard the bottom Beatrice. The Beatrice sank during its journey, taking the ornate sarcophagus along side it. If the Beatrice is ever found, it’s going to be possible to retrieve and therefore the sarcophagus.

Ark of the Covenant

According to the Hebrew Bible, the Ark of the Covenant was a chest that held tablets engraved with the ten Commandments. The chest was kept during a temple said to possess been built by King Solomon. This temple, sometimes called the primary Temple, was the foremost sacred site on Earth for the Jewish people, but it had been destroyed in 587 B.C. when a Babylonian army led by King Nebuchadnezzar conquered Jerusalem and sacked the town . It’s unclear what happened to the Ark of the Covenant and its location has long ago been a source of speculation.

Honjo Masamune Sword

The Honjo Masamune may be a sword said to possess been created by the swordsmith Gorō Nyūdō Masamune (lived A.D. 1264 to 1343), who is taken into account by many to be the best sword maker in Japanese history. it’s named after one among its owners, Honjo Shigenaga, who took it as a prize after a 16th-century battle. The sword came into the possession of Tokugawa Ieyasu, a pacesetter who became the primary shogun of Japan, after winning a series of wars within the 16th century.

The sword would be passed down through the Tokugawa family until the top of war II, when, during the American occupation of Japan, the sword had to be turned over to American authorities who were concerned that this sword, et al. love it might be used as weapons against the Americans. The sword never re-appeared again. It’s possible that American soldiers destroyed the sword, along side other captured Japanese weapons; or they’ll have brought the sword to America, meaning it might be re-discovered.

Lost Library of the Moscow Tsars

The Library of the Moscow Tsars supposedly contained a vast collection of Greek texts dating to ancient times, as well as texts written in a variety of other languages. The rulers of the Grand Duchy of Moscow supposedly built the library, which became a large facility by the 16th century.

There are claims that Ivan IV, better known as Ivan the Terrible, who lived from A.D. 1530 to 1584, somehow managed to hide the library’s texts. There have been many attempts over the centuries to find this “hidden library,” but so far the searchers have come up empty-handed. Whether or not this “hidden library” existed, a number of ancient texts written in Greek and other languages are located in archives in Moscow and St. Petersburg, said historian Patricia Kennedy Grimsted in her book “Archives in Russia: A Directory and Bibliographic Guide to Holdings in Moscow and St. Petersburg” (Routledge, 1997).

Crown jewels of Ireland

Stolen in 1907 from Dublin Castle, the “crown jewels of Ireland” were “not connected with any coronation ceremony and included no crown. Rather, they comprised a jewelled star of the Order of St. Patrick and a diamond brooch and five gold collars of that order, all Crown property,” wrote Tomás O’Riordan, a historian and project manager at University College Cork, in a piece of writing published in History Ireland. “[The] Order of St. Patrick was founded in 1783, to reward those in high office in Ireland and Irish peers — mentioned as Knights’ companions — on whose support the govt of the day depended,” O’Riordan wrote. Britain controlled Ireland at the time the crown jewels were created.

The jewelry was made up of 394 stones taken from Queen Charlotte’s jewelry and an Order of the bathtub Badge. The jewels also held rupees from a Mughal emperor and possibly precious stones provided by a Sultan of Turkey, O’Riordan said.

Lax security (the jewels were kept during a library) were blamed for the robbery. Who stole the jewels and what happened to them remain a mystery. a good range of individuals including Francis Shackleton, brother of the famous explorer Ernest Shackleton, are suspected of pulling off the heist.

Sappho’s lost poems

In the seventh century B.C., the Greek lyric poet Sappho was the Shakespeare of her day. She was highly regarded among the traditional Greeks who considered her to be one among the best poets. Unfortunately for us, few of her poems still survive. Recently, however, sections of two never-before-seen poems by Sappho are revealed by University of Oxford papyrologist Dirk Obbink. One poem talks about her brothers, while the opposite tells of unrequited love. They were purchased by an undisclosed anonymous collector off the antiquities market. At one point, the poems were wont to make cartonnage for Egyptian mummies. Concerns are raised that the papyri may are looted and brought out of Egypt; however, Obbink says that they need a legal, documented, collection history.

Dead Bishop’s Treasure Stolen by Pirates

In A.D. 1357, the São Vicente set sail from Lisboa (also called Lisbon) to Avignon, in France, carrying a treasure acquired by Thibaud de Castillon, a recently deceased bishop of Lisboa. The treasure included gold, silver, rings, tapestries, jewels, fine plates and even portable altars. While sailing near the town of Cartagena, in modern-day Spain, the São Vicente was attacked by two heavily armed pirate vessels whose crew seized its treasure. One pirate , commanded by a person named Antonio Botafoc (a name meaning fire blast or fire fart) was later captured after it ran aground. However, the opposite pirate commanded by Martin Yanes, appears to possess to possess made a clean getaway. What happened to Yanes, his pirate crew and therefore the stolen treasure is unknown.

The Just Judges

The “Just Judges” may be a panel that’s a part of the Ghent Altarpiece, a 15th-century work of art painted by Hubert and Jan Eyck that’s located within the Saint Bavo Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium. The panel shows a variety of characters on horseback, their identity uncertain. Philip the Great, who was Duke of Burgundy at the time the altarpiece was created, is probably going one among the characters on horseback. The panel was stolen in 1934 and has never been found.

However, despite the passage of your time, new tips still are available and therefore the case file remains active with the attorney general’s office still updating the two, page file, wrote historian Noah Charney in a piece of writing published within the Guardian in 2013. Before the Just Judges was stolen in 1934, there have been numerous other attempts to steal it and other parts of the Ghent Altarpiece.

The Florentine Diamond

Boasting 133 carats, the Florentine Diamond was “reputed to be the most important pink gem of its type within the world,” wrote historian Gordon Brook-Shepherd within the book “Uncrowned Emperor: The Life and Times of Otto Von Habsburg” (Bloomsbury, 2007). The diamond’s origins and present-day whereabouts are unclear.

In November 1918, it had been within the possession of the Habsburg royalty who had just been deposed after the empire that they ruled, Austria-Hungary, found itself on the losing side of war I. The family deposited the pink gem during a vault in Switzerland, entrusting it to an Austrian lawyer named Bruno Steiner, who was alleged to help the deposed royalty sell it and other royal jewels, Brook-Shepherd wrote in his book. It’s unclear what happened next. A report published in 1924 indicates that Steiner was arrested, charged with fraud and acquitted. It’s possible that the Florentine Diamond was recut sometime after war I and is now a series of smaller diamonds.

Lost da Vinci mural

In 1505, Leonardo Leonardo painted a mural depicting the 1440 victory of the Italian League (led by Florence) over Milan within the Battle of Anghiari. The painting, within the Palazzo Vecchio (the government building in Florence), disappeared in 1563, when the hall was remodelled by painter and architect Vasari. In 2012, a team of art experts announced that they had discovered evidence that the mural wasn’t stolen which another mural by Vasari had simply been painted over da Vinci’s mural. However, the results were never confirmed and therefore the research was placed on indefinite hold in September 2012.

Menorah from Second Temple

Between roughly A.D. 66 and 74, Jewish rebels, trying to free Israel from Roman rule, fought against the Roman army. In A.D. 70, the rebels suffered a critical blow as Jerusalem was captured by a Roman army led by Titus, a general who would later become a Roman Emperor . The Second Temple was destroyed, the Roman army carrying its treasures back to Rome. Those treasures included the temple’s menorah, a lampstand with six branches.

The Arch of Titus, located in Rome, includes a scene depicting the menorah being carried to Rome; within the scene, the menorah appears as a huge object, almost as big because the soldiers carrying it. The fate of the menorah after it arrived in Rome is unclear. Some people speculate that it could still be somewhere in Rome, waiting to be found.

Copper Scroll treasures

Perhaps the foremost unusual Dead Sea Scroll discovered within the Qumran caves may be a text engraved on a sheet of copper that discusses the situation of a huge amount of hidden treasure. This Copper Scroll, because it is named , is during a museum in Jordan. Whether the traditional writer of the scroll was describing a true or legendary treasure may be a source of debate among scholars. At the time the scroll was written, the Roman army was within the process of defeating Jewish groups that were rebelling against Roman rule; the Roman army had taken Jerusalem and destroyed the Second Temple, which was the foremost important, surviving religious site for the Jewish people.

Some scholars have speculated that the treasures mentioned within the Copper Scroll might be real treasures that were hidden before the Roman army destroyed the temple. Other scholars have argued that the quantity of treasure discussed within the Copper Scroll is so vast that it must be the things of legend.

Isabella Steward Gardner Museum stolen art

On March 18, 1990, two thieves dressed as cops broke into the Isabella Steward Gardner Museum and stole 13 works of art valued at about $500 million. They included three works by the Dutch painter Rembrandt and five works by the French artist Edgar Degas. The identity of the thieves is unknown and therefore the artwork has never been recovered. It’s possible that the thieves who stole the works of art are now dead and therefore the paintings are severely damaged or destroyed. Despite the high value of the art, it might be difficult to sell since it’s documented, and any buyer could easily determine that it had been stolen and find yourself facing criminal charges themselves.

Peking Man japaneese treasure

In 1923, the fossil of a hominid that’s sometimes called Peking Man (a sort of Homo erectus) was discovered during a cave near the village of Zhoukoudian, on the brink of Beijing (which at that point was called Peking). The fossils disappeared in 1941, during the Japanese invasion of China. Where the fossils are located today is unknown. Some have speculated that they were lost stumped while being transported to the United States; others think they’ll actually be located under a parking zone in China.

Q Source is a national treasure

Q source, as modern-day scholars call it, may be a hypothetical first-century text that contains variety of sayings attributed to Jesus. If it existed, scholars believe that it had been employed by ancient writers to assist craft the gospels of Matthew and Luke. The existence of Q source is predicated on the very fact that there are passages in Matthew and Luke that are identical. While the Gospel of Mark is believed to be a source for both Matthew and Luke, some passages included in both Matthew and Luke aren’t in Mark. Some scholars believe that those passages are from another source, which they call “Q source.” the matter is that no copy of Q source, if it really existed, is understood to survive.

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