Thirty World’s Most Valuable Lost Treasures

01 Amber Room

  The Amber Room is a room built in the 18th century in the Catherine Palace, located in Sharskoye Selo near St. Petersburg. Not only are there gilt mosaics, mirrors and carvings, but also panels made from approximately 450 kilograms of amber. During World War II in 1941, Germany occupied Schalskoye Selo, and the panels and artwork of the Amber Room were dismantled and brought to Germany. They have not been seen since, and most likely have been destroyed. Today’s Catherine Palace shows the reconstructed Amber Room.

Glittering Amber Room in St. Petersburg, Russia
02 Menkaure Sarcophagus

  The pyramid of Egyptian pharaoh Menkaure is the smallest of the 3 pyramids built at Giza about 4,500 years ago. In the 1830s, British soldier Howard Wither explored the Pyramids of Giza, using extremely destructive means (dynamite being the most notorious of them) in some places to make his way through the pyramids. building structure.
  Wither made many major discoveries at Giza, including the beautifully ornate sarcophagus found in the Pyramid of Menkaure. In 1838, Wither tried to use the merchant ship Beatrice to transport the sarcophagus to England, but because the merchant ship sank during the voyage, the sarcophagus was also buried at the bottom of the sea. If we can find the Beatrice, we have a chance to recover this ancient sarcophagus.

This antiquities illustration shows the Menkaure sarcophagus on the Giza plateau in Egypt
03The Cabinet of Contracts

  According to the Hebrew Bible, the Ark of the Covenant was a box in which the tablets of the Ten Commandments were placed. This box was kept in a temple in Jerusalem, ancient Israel. Legend has it that King Solomon was the builder of this temple. Jews regard this temple as the holiest place on earth. But the temple, known as the First Temple, was destroyed in 587 BC. The ancient Babylonian army, led by Nebuchadnezzar II, attacked Jerusalem aggressively, conquered and sacked the city. The whereabouts of the Ark of the Covenant are still unknown to this day, and for a long time, there have been different opinions about its whereabouts, so far.

vintage engraved illustration of the Ark of the Covenant from the Old Testament
04 Honjo authentic samurai sword

  Honjo Masamune is a samurai sword that is said to have been forged by Goro Shindo Masamune. Masamune (b. 1264-1343) is considered the greatest swordsmith in Japanese history. The sword takes its name from General Honjo Shigecho, a trophy he won after winning a duel in the 16th century. Honjo Masamune was later owned by Tokugawa Ieyasu. In the 16th century, Tokugawa Ieyasu became Japan’s first shogun through a series of victories.
  This knife was passed down by the Tokugawa family until the end of World War II. During the American occupation of Japan, Masamune Honjo was handed over to the American authorities because they feared that this knife and others like it would be used against the Americans. But since then, the knife has never been seen again. It is likely that American soldiers had destroyed it along with other Japanese weapons captured at the same time. Or maybe they brought the knife back to America. If that’s the case, then our odds of getting it back will be greatly increased.

This ancient portrait depicts the authentic knifemaker
05 Lost Moscow Tsar Library

  According to legend, the Moscow Tsar Library has a large collection of ancient Greek texts and texts in various other languages. In 1983, scholar David Allans published an article about the Moscow Tsar’s Library in the Journal of Library History. He believes that the ruler of the Grand Duchy of Moscow built the library around 1518. Prince Andrei Kubsky recorded a meeting between the philosopher Maximus and Prince Vasily III of Moscow in the 16th century. It was during this meeting that the eldest prince presented Maximus with a vast collection of Greek books.
  It is said that Ivan IV, who lived between 1530 and 1584, better known as Ivan the Terrible, managed to hide the texts in the library. There have been numerous attempts to find the “hidden library” over the centuries, but so far searchers have found nothing. Whether or not the hidden library exists, the Russian Archives: Moscow and St. Archives contain a large number of ancient documents written in Greek and other languages.
06 Irish Crown Jewels

  In 2001, University Cork historian and project manager Thomas O’Ridan published an article in the journal Irish History, stating: “The ‘Irish Crown Jewel’ stolen from Dublin Castle in 1907 is neither a crown. , also unrelated to any coronation ceremony, but consists of a jeweled star of the Order of St. Patrick, a diamond brooch and five gold collars of the Order, all belonging to the royal family.” O’Ridan added: “As a knight, the Companion, the Order of St. Patrick was created in 1783 to reward those in high positions in Ireland and Irish nobility, whose support was indispensable at the time.”
  In 1783, when the “crown jewel” was born, the United Kingdom control of Ireland. The gems are made from 394 gems from Queen Charlotte’s Jewellery and a badge of the Order of the Bath. Queen Charlotte is the wife of King George III. Oldan said rupees gifted by a Mughal emperor were among the gems, and some may have been provided by Turkish sultans.

  The gems were kept in a library at the time, but lax security allowed thieves to take advantage. The identity of the thief and the movements of the jewelry remain a mystery to this day. Many people are suspected of being involved in the theft, including Francis Shackleton, brother of famed explorer Ernest Shackleton. But no one can come up with substantial evidence that these people are the culprits of the theft.

A brochure from police shows Irish Crown Jewels stolen from Dublin Castle safe
07 The Lost Sappho Psalms

  The Greek lyric poet Sappho, who lived in the seventh century BC, was the Shakespeare of her day. The ancient Greeks spoke highly of Sappho and considered her to be one of the finest poets. Unfortunately, there are very few Sappho poems that have been handed down. But in 2014, Oxford University papyrus Dirk Obbink showed the world two never-before-seen fragments of Sappho’s poems. One talks about her brothers, the other is about unrequited love.
  Their provenance is unclear. In 2021, Brill retracted an article by Obbink detailing its provenance. After this, the exact origin of the poem has returned to an unknown state.

This mosaic fragment depicts the poetess Sappho
08 Treasures of the late bishop

  In 1357, a steamship named Saint Vincent set off from Lisbon, Portugal, to Avignon, France, carrying the treasures acquired by the late Bishop of Lisbon, Thibaut de Castille, before his death. These treasures include gold, silver, rings, tapestries, jewelry, and fine plates, and even a portable altar. But as the ship approached the town of Cartagena in modern-day Spain, two heavily armed pirate ships attacked the Saint Vincent and its crew looted the treasure.
  One of the pirate ships was later captured after running aground and was captained by a man named Antonio Botafolk (whose name means “hot” or “fire fart” in the Iberian language of the time). However, another pirate ship, commanded by Martin Yanes, appears to have managed to escape. So far, Yanes and his pirate crew and the stolen treasure remain unknown.
09 Fair Judge

  The Just Judge is part of the Ghent Altarpiece, painted by Hubert and Jan van Eyck in the 15th century at St Bavo’s Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium. A number of figures on horseback are depicted in the painting, but their identities have not been determined. It is probable that Philip III, Duke of Burgundy, at the time of the creation of the altarpiece, was one of the equestrians.
  ”Justice Judge” was stolen in 1934 and is still missing. However, art historian Noah Charney wrote in a 2013 article in The Guardian that, despite the passage of time, new clues continued to emerge, and the case file of more than 2,000 pages remained active. In fact, before the “Justice” was stolen, there have been many attempts to steal it and other parts of the “Ghent Altarpiece”.

The Just Judge is part of the Ghent Altarpiece, also known as The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb
10 Florence Diamonds

  This 137-carat yellow Florentine diamond likely originated in India and arrived in Europe at the end of the 15th century. How and when exactly it arrived in Europe has always been a point of contention. One theory is that between 1467 and 1477, Charles the Bold, then Duke of Burgundy, cut it from a larger diamond. He was so obsessed with the Florentine diamond that he took it to war, and it is said that the diamond did not leave his side when he was killed.
  In “The Uncrowned Emperor: The Life and Times of Otto von Habsburg,” historian Gordon Brooke Sheppard writes about the last days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire after the First World War. Emperor Charles I fled to Switzerland with the diamond and deposited it in a bank vault before entrusting it to an Austrian lawyer named Bruno Steiner. The lawyer was supposed to help the deposed royal family sell the diamond and other royal jewels. But no one knew what happened next. A 1924 news report stated that Steiner had been arrested and charged with fraud, but was eventually acquitted. It is possible that Florentine diamonds have been recut and now exist as a series of smaller diamonds.

This is a glass replica of the Yellow Florentine Diamond, a lost diamond from India
11 Lost Da Vinci Murals

  In 1505, Leonardo da Vinci painted a fresco depicting the victory of the Italian League led by Florence at the Battle of Anghiari against Milan in 1440. This fresco was created in Palazzo Vecchio (Florence’s town hall), but disappeared mysteriously in 1563 when the painter and architect Giorgio Vasari remodeled the hall.
  In 2012, a team of art experts announced that they had found evidence that the frescoes had not been destroyed, and that Vasari had simply painted his own frescoes on top of Leonardo’s. The team has been scientifically testing the Leonardo da Vinci fresco for years and has published several studies, including a radar study published in 2005 in the International Journal of Nondestructive Testing and Evaluation.
  However, the team’s results were never confirmed, and the study was put on hold indefinitely from the second half of 2012. In 2020, another research group argued that Leonardo da Vinci never painted the fresco in the first place, but this claim has also caused quite a bit of controversy. The jury is still out on what happened to the fresco and whether it ever existed.

12 Menorah of the Second Temple

Relief on the Arc de Triomphe of Titus, showing the triumphal procession after the fall of Jerusalem in AD 70

  From about AD 66 to 74, Jewish rebels fought against the Roman army in an attempt to liberate Israel from Roman rule. In 70 AD, Jerusalem was occupied by the Roman army led by Titus, and the rebels suffered heavy losses. General Titus later became emperor of Rome. The Second Temple, the most important religious site for Jews at the time, was also destroyed, and the Roman army transported its treasure back to ancient Rome. These treasures include the temple candlestick with six pilasters.
  The Arc de Triumph of Titus is located near the Colosseum, and one of the pictures depicts the candelabra being transported to Rome: in the picture, the candelabra appears to be a very massive object, almost as large as the soldiers carrying it. The fate of the candlesticks after they arrived in Rome is unclear.
13 Copper Scroll Treasures

  Perhaps the most unique Dead Sea Scrolls found in the Qumran Caves on the west coast are the copper scrolls with the writing engraved on the copper plate. It records the specific location of a large number of treasures hidden on it. The copper scroll is now in a museum in Jordan. Whether the treasure described by its author is real or a historical legend has always been the focus of debate among scholars. The scrolls were written around AD 70, at a time when the Roman army was struggling to suppress Jewish groups who were rebelling against Roman rule. That year, the Roman army had already captured Jerusalem and destroyed the Second Temple.
  Some scholars speculate that the treasures mentioned in the scrolls may be real treasures, hidden before the Roman army destroyed the temple. Other scholars, however, believe that because of the sheer number of treasures discussed in the copper scroll, it must be a legend.

14 Artwork Stolen from the Isabella Stewart Garner Museum

  On March 18, 1990, two thieves disguised as police officers broke into the Isabella Stewart Garner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts, stealing 13 works of art worth an estimated $500 million. These include three works by Dutch painter Rembrandt and five works by French artist Edgar Degas. The identity of the thieves is not known, and the stolen artwork has never been found. The thief who stole the artwork may have passed away, and the painting may have been severely damaged or destroyed. Although these works of art are valuable, they have become difficult to sell precisely because they are so well-known. Buyers can easily conclude that they are stolen paintings, and any transaction puts them at risk of criminal charges.

An FBI “Seek Information” poster is displayed during a press conference on the status of the investigation into the art theft at the Isabella Stewart Garner Museum, March 15, 2013
15 Peking Man

  In 1923, a hominid fossil was discovered in a cave near Zhoukoudian village, around Beijing. This primitive man, also known as Peking Man, was a Homo erectus that lived between 200,000 and 750,000 years ago. The fossils disappeared in 1941, and no one knows their whereabouts so far. Some scholars speculate that the fossils were sent to the United States to protect them from adversaries, but were lost at sea in transit; others believe they may actually be located under a parking lot in China.

16Q source

  The “Q source” refers to a possible first-century AD text, also known by modern scholars as “Q,” on which some of the sayings of Jesus are recorded. Scholars believe that, if at all, ancient writers referenced the Q source when writing the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. It is also because some passages in Matthew and Luke are exactly the same that many people believe that the source of Q is real.
  While the Gospel of Mark is considered the blueprint for the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, some passages from Matthew and Luke do not exist in the Gospel of Mark. Some scholars believe that these passages come from the Q source (“Q” is taken from “quelle”, which means “source” in German). The problem is, even if the source of Q is real, no copies have been found. Some recent scholarly research suggests that the second-century AD unorthodox text, the Gospel of Marcion, may contain parts of the Q source.
17 Nazi Gold

  Legend has it that towards the end of World War II, Nazi forces led by SS officer Ernst Kalten Brenner sank large quantities of gold into Lake Toplitz in Austria to ensure that the gold would not be invaded by the Allied forces. Own it. However, numerous searches since then have been in vain, and so far, no one has found the gold.
  It’s also possible that this story is just a legend and that no gold was sunk to the bottom of the lake; however, some researchers have also noted that Lake Toplitz has poor visibility and a large number of logs and debris, adding difficulty and danger to finding gold sex. Some divers went into the lake in search of gold and never came back alive.

18 Missing Raphael Paintings

  Italian painter Raphael Sanzio (often called “Raphael”), who lived from 1483 to 1520, painted this striking Portrait of a Young Man. But no one knows the identity of the people in the painting and the exact date of Raphael’s creation. The painting was in the Czartoryski Museum in Krakow, Poland, when the Germans invaded Poland in September 1939. However, according to the website of the Monument Man Foundation, Nazi officials stole the painting from the museum and planned to put it in the then-planning Fuller Museum in Linz, Austria.
  However, the Fuller Museum was never built. The painting was last seen in January 1945 in Hans Frank’s hut on Lake Neuhaus Schliersee in Germany. Frank was a Nazi officer in charge of captured Poland. There, countless war crimes and mass murders of Polish Jews were carried out under his supervision. After World War II, Frank was tried, sentenced to death and executed. “Portrait of a Young Man” has since disappeared.

Raphael’s “Portrait of a Young Man”
19 Royal Coffins

  In 1800, Princess Isabella Czartoreska of Poland made the so-called royal coffin, which contains a collection of artifacts from past rulers of the royal family. These treasures include jewelry worn by Polish kings, art collections and other memorabilia. Poland was partitioned by other powers in the region in 1795 and no longer exists as an independent country. After Nazi Germany invaded Poland in September 1939, the royal coffin was seized by the Nazi army and eventually reduced to the spoils of the invaders. The artifacts in the coffin have now disappeared.

20 “The Triumph of Love”

  As we all know, “The Triumph of Love” is a play created by William Shakespeare, but no copy has been handed down so far. It is likely to be a sequel to Shakespeare’s comedy “Love’s Futility” written during the 1690s. In 2009, Cambridge University Press republished The Futility of Love. William Carroll, a professor of English at Boston University, wrote in the preface to the edition that although no copies of The Triumph of Love have been found, texts from the 1690s and 17th century indicate that it was published in 1598, 1603 Still on sale.
  Shakespeare also has a play called Much Ado About Nothing. Much Ado About Nothing is very well-known, and there are still many troupes performing this show. Some scholars believe that Triumph of Love is actually Much Ado about Nothing. Based on this theory, the Royal Shakespeare Company even renamed the performance of Much Ado About Nothing as Triumph of Love.

21st Century Gospel

  The oldest surviving copies of the Christian Gospels – Mark, Luke, Matthew and John – date back to the second century AD. However, many scholars believe that some of these Gospels were originally written in the second half of the first century AD. But this conclusion leads to several questions, first, do copies of the first century exist at all; and second, if they do, how can we date them?
  In 2015, scholars reported that they had found a fragment of the Gospel of Mark in the remains of a mummified mask, which they believe dates back to the first century AD. However, it was only discovered when the text was published in the 2018 edition of the journal “Oxylinkus Papyrus” that it should be dated to the second or third century AD.
22 Michelangelo’s Faun Mask

  This marble “faun mask” is believed to be the work of the Italian artist Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simeone who lived from 1475 to 1564. God is half man, half sheep in mythology. The mask was once owned by the Bargello Museum in Florence, Italy, but was stolen from Castello Poppi in Tuscany in 1944.
  But who actually stole this work? The Monument Man Foundation noted on its website that the thieves were soldiers of the Army’s 305th Division, part of the German Tenth Army Corps. The soldiers stole the mask sometime between August 22 and August 23, 1944, and put it on a truck. The foundation’s website also mentions: “The Tenth Regiment truck carrying this mask and other artwork continued on August 31st after a brief stop in Forlì, Italy.” This seems to be where the mask was last seen, it The current location is not yet known.

Michelangelo’s Faun mask
23 Ravaggio’s Nativity

  The Nativity of Saint Francis and Saint Lawrence was created in 1609 by the Italian painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio who lived from 1571 to 1610. This painting depicts the birth of Christ, with the baby Jesus lying on a haystack. Some scholars have pointed out that this scene highlights the poverty of Jesus’ birth. In 1969, the painting was stolen from a church in Palermo, Sicily, Italy. Its whereabouts are unknown, and the identity of the thief is unknown. The Sicilian mafia has long been suspected of carrying out the theft. In 2015, a reproduction of the painting was displayed in the church where it was stolen.

The Nativity of St. Francis and St. Lawrence, 1609, found in the San Lorenzo Collection, Palermo

24 Lost Romanov Easter Eggs

  Between 1885 and 1916, the Faberge Jewelry Company, run by Russian jeweler Peter Karl Faberge, produced ornately decorated “Easter eggs” for the Russian royal family.
  Faberge notes on his company website that the eggs “are the ultimate achievement of this famous Russian jewelry company and should be considered the company’s greatest art and crafts commission.” “From 1885 to 1893, in During the reign of Alexander III the Great, the jewelry company made a total of 10 Easter eggs; during the reign of his filial son Nicholas II, another 40 Easter eggs were made, two per year, one for his mother, the Queen Mother, and the other for his mother. his wife.”
  The Russian Revolution of 1917 resulted in the execution of Russia’s last tsar, Nicholas II, and most members of the Romanov family. After their deaths, some Easter eggs also disappeared, and their whereabouts are still unknown; there are rumors that some of them have been collected by private collectors around the world. Still others may be in the United States, with documents showing that some $164 million worth of antiques and artifacts were shipped from the Soviet Union to the United States at the end of the Cold War.

Known as the Spinach Jade Easter Egg, the Faberge egg is decorated with pansy enamel enamel and embellished with diamonds, and set on a pedestal of twisted gold leaves and branches. It was a gift from Tsar Nicholas II to his mother, the Queen Mother, on Easter 1899
25 Remit Cup

  The Remit Cup is a prize awarded to the winning team of the World Cup. FIFA, the international football governing body, said on its official website that the trophy was carved by Abel Lafleur and named after the founder of the World Cup, Jules Remet. The octagonal vessel is on the top of the head, made of gold, and the base is semi-precious”.
  The trophy was first awarded in 1930 at the first World Cup, which is held every four years, and the trophy is awarded to the next winning team every four years; but in 1970, Brazil had won the World Cup for the third time. . According to FIFA rules, the first team to win the World Cup three times will have a permanent right to the Remit Cup. The Remit Cup was eventually sent to Brazil, and a new World Cup trophy was born.
  In 1983, the Remit Cup was stolen in Rio de Janeiro and has not been seen since. Thieves may have melted it into gold, which weighs about 6.1 kilograms.
  This is not the first time the Remit Cup has been stolen. In 1966, the trophy was stolen from a Methodist hall in London. According to FIFA’s official website, the Remit Cup was found by a dog named Pixar and its owner David Corbett, wrapped in newspaper and rope, in south London a week after he disappeared. on a street. The thief of the theft has not yet been caught.

A solid gold statue designed and manufactured by French sculptor Abel Lafleur The Remit Gold Cup was awarded to the captain of the World Cup winning football team
26 Treasures of Nimrud

  The ancient city of Nimrud, located in modern Iraq, was the capital of the Assyrian Empire during the reign of Ashurnasirpal II from 883 to 859 BC. Ashurnasirpal II built a new palace and other facilities in Nimrud. However, Nimrud has not been at peace recently. The terrorist group Islamic State (also known as IS, ISIS, ISIL or Daesh) launched a military offensive in June 2014 and occupied the ancient city; it was not recaptured until November 2016.
  By then, IS had blown up part of the city and used bulldozers to destroy and excavate other parts. After the ancient city was recaptured, several more robberies occurred with little security. Although many of Nimrud’s treasures have been destroyed, fortunately, some damaged treasures can be repaired, and others may be rediscovered on the black market.

Prints showing the treasures of Nimrud
27 George Mallory’s Lost Camera

  On June 8, 1924, British explorers George Mallory and Andrew Owen disappeared near the summit of Mount Everest. A storm may have doomed them to fail the final sprint to the summit. No one has ever made it to the top since. It wasn’t until 1953 that a team led by Edmund Hillary became the first people to climb Mount Everest. However, no one can be sure whether Mallory and Irving made it to the top before they died.
  Mallory’s body was recovered in 1999; there is evidence that he fell to his death. Owen’s body has never been found. If Irving’s body is found, the camera that Mallory and Irving are carrying can be found. With the film in the camera intact, we could potentially develop the pictures they took and know if Mallory and Irving had climbed Mount Everest before they died.

The last known photo of George Mallory (left) and Andrew Irving as they climbed Mount Everest in June 1924
28 Michelangelo’s Leda and the Swan

  Michelangelo’s painting “Leda and the Swan” depicts a scene from ancient mythology: Cupid incarnates as a swan to lure Queen Leda of Sparta. According to mythology, Helen of Troy was one of their descendants. Michelangelo’s original painting is now lost, and only a few copies made by others survive.
  These facsimiles show that Michelangelo’s painting is full of eroticism, in which Leda is naked, having sex with Cupid in the form of a swan. It’s unclear exactly how Michelangelo’s original was lost, but it’s possible that some viewers over the past 500 years found it too expressive and destroyed it at some point.

Leda and the Swan, painted after 1530, found in the National Gallery, London

29 The Life of General Vera

  The Life of General Villa is a lost film about the Mexican revolutionary general Francisco “Pancho” Villa, who fought a series of battles with other Mexican leaders. Although the film is heavily fictional, it incorporates footage of the actual battles of Villa’s forces. Vera himself had a contract with Mutual Films (the film’s producers) that allowed the filmmakers to film scenes of him and his troops actually fighting in exchange for a portion of the film’s proceeds. Although the film has been released and shown in public, it is now nowhere to be seen.
  Soon after the film’s release, Villa’s troops crossed New Mexico and killed several Americans, making him a public enemy of the United States. The 1916 U.S. military expedition to Mexico also failed to track him down, but he was assassinated in 1923, possibly by some Mexican leaders.

General Francisco “Pancho” Villa during the Mexican Revolution
30 World’s First Feature Films

  Released in Australia in 1906, The Kelly Gang Tale is considered by many to be the world’s first feature-length film. The film is over an hour long and tells the story of 19th century outlaw Ned Kelly and his gang. Film historians Sally Jackson and Graham Shirley have published an article on the Australian National Film and Sound Archive website stating that the film was a huge success. They wrote that the film “was released in Melbourne on Boxing Day 1906 and attracted large audiences across the country.” “By the second half of 1907, the film had been shown in New Zealand and England, where it was crowned In the name of ‘the longest movie ever made.'”
  The film’s portrayal of criminal gangs earned it some notoriety. Jackson and Shirley said, “After screenings across the country, reports of crime and censorship followed. In May 1907, inspired by the film, five local children in the Victorian town of Ballarat broke into a home. They also rescued a group of students from gunpoint after the photo studio stole money.” “In April, the Victorian secretary-general banned the film from showing in Benalla and Wangaratta, two towns closely linked to Kelly. .”
  Jackson and Shirley also said that unfortunately, the film was never properly preserved, and by the 1970s, only “promotional materials and some photographs” survived. With the discovery and restoration of parts of the film, about a quarter of the film has been exposed, but most of the film has not been found.