The Nazi’s Plundering of Art
Value: $20 Billion
It is rumored that the Nazis stole over 200,000 historic and cultural artifacts from museums and private collections throughout their occupation of Europe during the Second World War.
Thanks to wartime organizations like the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives division of the Allied forces, thousands upon thousands of pieces of art were recovered during and after the war, most of which would have probably remained lost to the world for all time were it not for the efforts of this band of historians, architects, art experts, professors, and museum curators.
Despite their best efforts, 30,000 items are still listed as missing, according to the Art Loss Register—a worldwide database of lost and stolen art. There’s no way to calculate how much the items are worth in total, but it’s probably safe to say they’d be worth modern-day billions. Among the most important masterpieces never recovered are Madonna with Child by Giovanni Bellini, The Painter on the Road to Tarascon by van Gogh, Portrait of a Young Man by Raphael, An Angel with Titus’ Features by Rembrandt, Five Dancing Women by Degas, and The Boulevard Montmartre, Twilight by Pissarro.