Saint Bavo Cathedral
Value: $3 Million
On April 10, 1934, the two panels of the Ghent Altarpiece, one of the world's premiere examples of 15th century realist artwork, were stolen from Saint Bavo Cathedral in Belgium by Belgian Arsene Goedertier. He tried to ransom the paintings for one million Belgian Francs and returned one panel, John the Baptist, as an act of good faith. Unfortunately, the deal fell through and Goedertier died without revealing the whereabouts of The Just Judges.
On his deathbed, Goedertier revealed to his lawyer that he was the thief. He led him to a file containing carbon copies of correspondence with the Bishop of Ghent in which he attempted to negotiate the ransom.
The only clue he gave as to the whereabouts of the panel was a then-unsent note to the Bishop, which read: “[It] rests in a place where neither I, nor anybody else, can take it away without arousing the attention of the public.”