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Stolen Treasures GameThe Mona Lisa, the Hope Diamond, the Faberge Egg…what do these have in common? Stolen Treasures is an exciting card game of strategy and chance that pits player against player in a race to recover the most (and most valuable) stolen treasures.  Collect tools that will help you secure your treasures, but be careful because there are ways to confuse, skip and steal from your opponents.  Featuring an array of treasures that have real ‘stolen’ backstories, Stolen Treasures is a fun new addition to any game collection, and a great way to spend Game Night with friends and family!

Price: $15.00 Free shipping within continental US

Dimensions: Length 5.25", Width 4", Height 5.125", Weight 0.463 lb.


What others are saying about Stolen Treasures:

Christoph Richter (from Boardgaming For the Win): “It is fun, easy to learn, & great for children.”

Joseph Nicholas (from indietabletop): “Stolen Treasures is a very solid card game…I loved the theme and felt it was quite unique.…the sweet spot would be between 3 and 6 players.”

Hatherleigh Press: “..lots of fun. Light entertainment and would be something I could see playing again.”

Behind the scenes in the making of “Stolen Treasures”

Stolen Treasures

The November 13, 2013 edition of NY Times Magazine reported that according to the FBI each year billions of dollars’ worth of art goes missing. Yes that is BILLIONS EVERY YEAR!!

What’s amazing is a very small percent; (5 – 10%) ever is recovered. Why? For one thing authorities view art theft as victimless crimes and hence receive less priority. Of course the one losing the art and the company insuring the art don’t see it that way. Nevertheless it seems this type of crime (if you are not caught in the process) pays handsomely!

What’s done with the stolen art? There are a number of avenues by which it can be unloaded. The black market for one….but caution is needed. If the art is too well known everyone (at least in the art world) knows that it’s hot and the chance for getting caught is heightened. So typically high profile pieces are stolen only when there is a buyer in place first. Another avenue for expensive art is that they can be used as collateral for lucrative mob loans (as referenced in the Donna Tartt novel “The Goldfinch”) . If the art is not so well know the black market is a quick way to unload it. The downside is this is usually for a fraction of its real value. ($100,000 - $200,000 for a $1,000,000 item….but that’s not bad for an afternoon’s work …at least for the thief. On the other hand if the item is made of valuable material (gold for example) often for easy of sale and transfer it is simply melted or disassembled and sold that way.

What effort has been established to recover stolen art? Because many art items cross international boarders the INTERPOL (International Police) is involved. Additionally many countries have their special units such as in the USA they employ the FBI Art Crime Team. Then there are special units in major cities where valuable art is on display such as the NY Police Special Fraud Squad or the London’s Metropolitan Police. In addition to these organizations the insurance companies, especially ones that specialize in insuring art has their agents, are typically involved in the investigation and search. (Recall how this was depicted in the art heist film “The Thomas Crown Affair”) Think about it, if just one piece of art worth $5,000,000 was recovered that would pay for a lot of salary & travel expenses!

In the making of Stolen Treasures it was our goal to bring awareness of how prevalent this crime of art thief is and what’s involved in their recovery. So what better way to do this than to have a game of strategy and chance where you become a special agent with the mission to recover art that has actually been stolen! Listed below are the treasures that appear in the game with a brief description of the actual thief. Enjoy learning about them….and who knows just maybe you will be the one to recover it!

Learn About the Heist of each Treasure in the Game:

Forbidden City CaseIn May of 2011, Shi Bokui knocked out a hole in the wall of the Palace Museum in Beijing and stole seven pieces of art that were on loan to the museum from a private collection in Hong Kong.  Officials from the museum were beside themselves with embarrassment, and the Hong Kong museum was in a bind, since they had not insured the artifacts to the full potential because they believed they’d be safe.  Fortunately, Bokui was apprehended in an internet web-café sting just a few days later, and all seven pieces were retrieved (although some damage had been done).

Assyrian ReliefIn April of 2003, just days after Baghdad, Iraq was conquered by U.S. troops, The National Museum of Iraq was looted.  While the extent of the looting has been debated (initial reports indicating hundreds of thousands of artifacts stolen, while more recent reports claim the looting was more around 15,000), the fact remains that precious artifacts were stolen and it took years to recover them.  In fact, it wasn’t until July 15th of 2015 that any were returned to their rightful place.  In May of 2015, Islamic coins, bracelets, stamps, pottery, glass shards and royal seals used by the Assyrian kings of Nimrud were recovered by U.S. Special Forces during a raid.  Still, only a few hundred (out of thousands) have been recovered.

Benghazi TreasureOn May 25th of 2011, a group of looters drilled through more than two feet of steel-reinforced concrete, directly into a vault in the National Commercial Bank of Benghazi and stole over 7,000 coins (gold, silver and bronze) known as the Treasure of Benghazi.  This priceless collection (which also included jewelry) is believed to have been heisted by individuals who clearly knew what they were after.  Many lesser valued items were left untouched, while the thieves went right for the pieces that were not only the most valued, but also the ones capable of being melted down and sold without detection.  As of right now, this treasure has yet to be recovered.

Brink’s-MAT GoldOn November 26th of 1983, six robbers (with the aid of a security guard) stole26,000,000 English pounds (translating to over 40,000,000 U.S. dollars) worth of gold, diamonds and cash.  The security guard, Anthony Black, was the brother-in-law of robber Brian Robinson, and during questioning he gave up Robinson, who was then arrested the following month.  Accomplice Micky McAvoy was also arrested.  As far as rectification is concerned, this is the extent.  Despite suspicious activity being reported a mere two days after the heist, it took 14 months for authorities to investigate, and by then the loot had been melted down and was nowhere to be found.  In fact, the other four robbers were never convicted and to this day much of the stolen gold has yet to be recovered.

The ConcertOn March 18th of 1990, thieves disguised as Boston police officers claimed to be responding to a call at the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum and stole thirteen works of art, including Johannes Vermeer’s painting The Concert. They overtook the security guards, handcuffed them and duct taped their hands, feet and hands, and left them in the basement of the Museum to be found the following morning by a fellow security guard arriving to work. The paintings have never been retrieved, and there is currently a $5,000,000 reward for any information that leads to their recovery.

Dehua GuardianOn April 5th of 2012, a gang of thieves chiseled through the outside wall of the Durham University Oriental Museum (an ordeal that took only thirty minutes) and stole two artifacts (which only took them 60 seconds), including this porcelain figurine dating back to the Qing Dynasty.  It appears that these were ‘stolen to order’, as the thieves (using torches for light) made a beeline for two separate cabinets containing these artifacts.  While it may have taken five arrests to finally track down the artifacts, it was all said and done within a week.

Euphronios KraterOn November 10th of 1972, the Metropolitan Museum of Art purchased the krater from an American antiques art dealer named Robert E. Hecht.  Despite being accused of trafficking stolen antiques, Hecht fervently denied he did anything wrong, claiming that the krater was acquired from a Lebanese family who had been in possession of the piece since the 1920’s.  Records indicate otherwise, claiming that the artifact was looted from an Etruscan tomb in 1971.  Finally, in January of 2008, the krater was returned to Italy.

Faberge EggBetween the years 1885 and 1917, Peter Carl Faberge created 52 (known) Faberge Eggs specifically for Czars Alexander III and Nicholas II.  These eggs became known as Imperial Eggs.  In 1918, the Bolsheviks pillaged the House of Faberge, and the eggs were stolen.  Over the years, many of the eggs found their way to museums and private collections the world over, but seven of them are still missing.  The most recent recovered egg came when a scrap metal dealer came across it at a flea market.  Shelling out $14,000 for it, he turned around and presented it to an antique dealer who confirmed it was a genuine Imperial Egg and worth millions.  Talk about a lucky break!

French Gold Eagle“By Jaysus, boys, I have the Cuckoo!”  These were the words reportedly uttered by Sergeant Patrick Masterson, a British soldier who grabbed the French Eagle during the Battle of Barrosa on March 5th of 1811.  The eagle was taken back to England, where it was put on display in the Royal Hospital, Chelsea.  Several years later it was stolen, broken off of the staff it was resting on and smuggled out of the hospital.  No one knows what happened to it, but many believe that it was melted down and sold, since many thought it was solid gold (although it was in fact silver, but gilded with gold).

Graff Pink DiamondOn August 6th of 2009, Craig Calderwood and Aman Kassaye hired a professional makeup artist to alter their appearance drastically (with wigs, prosthetics and makeup) under the pretense of starring in a music video, and then proceeded to walk right into Graff Diamonds in London with guns and steal 43 items of jewelry.  Due to the negligence of the robbers, who had left evidence in their abandoned getaway car, they were apprehended shortly after the robbery. Unfortunately for Graff Diamonds none of the jewelry has been recovered including the Graff Pink Diamond.

Hope DiamondLegend has it that the Hope Diamond is cursed.  Apparently, terrible misfortune, misery and death befall all those who own or wear it.  The reason for this ‘curse’?  It is believed that the original form of the Hope Diamond was stolen from the eye of a sculpted statue of Sita, the goddess wife of Rama, the seventh Avatar of Vishnu.  Most likely mere folklore, this mysterious origin adds an air of intrigue to the diamond and adds some colorful backstory to the long list of ‘tragedies’ that befell the many individuals to come in contact with the stone.  The Hope Diamond has traded hands many times over the centuries, and it was even stolen from King Louis XVI in 1792, but all agree that stealing from the gods is more interesting.

Imperial Airways GoldOn March 6th of 1935, three men walk into the main airport building during the early morning hours and walk off with gold estimated to be worth nearly $20,000,000. How?  Security in those days was light, with only one guard on duty, and so there were periods when areas went unwatched.  Imperial Airways would transport freight, mail and gold from the airport, and so these three men just waited until the only guard on duty (Francis Johnson) made his way to the airstrip to make their move.  The gold was never found, and only one man was ever arrested for the theft.

Israel Gold CoinsIn December of 2014, a man armed with a metal detector and digging supplies walked into an Israeli antique sight and dug up 800 ancient coins.  Stopped at a routine security check, he was questioned and detained due to the digging supplies in his bag.  He fervently denied having anything to do with any missing coins, but guess what was found in his home?  Yes, 800 bronze coins, other artifacts including jewelry and some metal cleaning equipment.  Wonder where those came from!

Kerry Packer GoldOver an April weekend in 1995, 25 gold bars were stolen from media tycoon Kerry Packer’s Australian complex.  The crazy thing is that the police and Packer himself were pretty certain of whom the thief was, and yet his tracks were covered in such a way he could never be convicted.  Even after his death, the gold is still missing, strongly thought to have been melted down.

King Tut MaskWas it stolen? Well…depending on whom you ask or what you read… Yes and no. In February of 2011 thieves did break into the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Sneaking in through the roof, these thieves descended by ropes into the museum and made off with 18 priceless artifacts, including wooden and limestone statues of King Tut.  Initially there were wide reports that they did indeed make off with the priceless mask, however after a careful search the museum curator did find it and verified that it was in fact left behind. So technically this can be called a reported but actually “almost stolen treasure”!

King Tut MaskOn May 2nd of 2010, raiders broke into Kedleston Hall, the stately home of Lord Curzon, using bolt cutters to break through the main gates and then relocking them using their own padlock to stop anyone from entering behind them, and stole priceless artifacts dating back to Curzon’s time as Viceroy of India (1889 – 1905).  They went as far as to ram their car through the wall to gain access to the home.  The artifacts, including this beautiful casket, reflect a key period in Indian history, and their absence leaves a void in the collection.  Lady Scarsdale was vocal about her disappointment with The National Trust, who was responsible for securing the property and its contents.  To this day, the items are still missing.

Lyre of UrDuring the raiding that took place at The National Museum of Iraq in 2003, some artifacts were severely damaged.  One such item was the Lyre of Ur, a beautiful wooden harp that was smashed to pieces and stripped of its gold pieces, including a bull’s head that rested at the front.  Since this lyre was such an important cultural icon for the Iraqi people, Andy Lowings (harpist and engineer) set forth to construct a replica as a gesture of friendship and honor for the people of Iraq.  All labor and material were donated free of charge.  It took two years for Lowings and his team to finish the replica, but it has now been played by quite a few musicians and it has traveled the globe as a representation of Iraq history.

Mona LisaMona LisaOn August 21st of 1911, Vincenzo Peruggia walked into the Louvre and walked out with the Mona Lisa.  Peruggia had previously worked at the Louvre, and many of the current employees recognized him, so his presence didn’t send alarm, even on a Monday, when the museum was closed to the public for cleaning.  But Peruggia had an agenda.  An Italian man, he was determined to take back what had been stolen from his country by Napoleon, and so he took his opportunity (when the guards were occupied elsewhere) to take the painting off the wall, take it out of its frame and slip it under his painters smock.  It was two years later before his intentions to get the painting displayed in his homeland finally got him caught and the painting returned to the Louvre; but that’s a story in it of itself!

Nigerian MaskIn 1897, Benin was pillaged by a British Expedition and many of their artifacts and treasures were extracted, including the mask believed to have belonged to Queen Idia.  Decades later, in December of 2010, old wounds were reopened when an auction at Sotheby’s intended to sell off some of these items, the mask included.  Thanks to an online petition (and a lot of vocal protest), it was decided not to auction off the stolen merchandise.  To this day, though, the mask has not been returned to Nigeria.

RaphaelRenaissance painter and architect Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino (known better as Raphael) is probably most notably remembered for his self-portrait, Portrait of a Young Man.  The sad thing is that this particular painting has literally been missing since 1945.  In 1939, when the Nazi’s first invaded Poland, many works were hidden but ultimately found by the Gestapo and used to decorate Nazi residences.  This painting was taken by Hitler’s appointed governor, Hans Frank.  While it decorated his personal residence, in 1945 he brought the painting back to Germany with him, and it has not been seen since.

Regent DiamondThe Regent Diamond has a long legacy of being ‘stolen’, starting all the way back to 1698 when a slave found the uncut diamond in Kollur mine and decided to take it for himself, hiding it inside a large leg wound.  He didn’t have it for long before an English sea captain killed him for it and sold it to an Indian merchant.  It was then acquired by Governor Thomas Pitt, who had it cut into a 141 carats cushion brilliant.  It changed a few hands before it finally found its way into Napoleon’s family, and eventually his second wife’s father returned the stone to the French Crown Jewels.  Today it is on display at the Louvre.

RembrandtIn December of 2000, three armed men robbed the National Museum in Stockholm, making off with three paintings, Rembrandt’s self-portrait (painted on copper) being one of them.  Making off in a getaway boat and setting fire to cars as a distraction for police on their tail, they disappeared and despite multiple arrests and the recovery of the other paintings, this Rembrandt remained missing.  Five years later, four men were caught red-handed attempting to sell the painting to a potential buyer.

The ScreamThe Scream has the distinction of being a painting that was stolen, not once, but twice!  In fact, there were four versions of this work (two paintings and two pastels) created by Edvard Munch and it is one of the most recognizable works of all time.  The first theft happened in 1994 when ex-professional soccer player, Paal Enger, broke into the National Gallery on the opening day of the Winter Olympics and snatched the painting right off the wall.  In 2004, armed men walked into the Munch Museum and took The Scream and Madonna right off the walls.  Both versions were eventually recovered, but the identities of the thieves responsible for the 2004 robbery are still a mystery.

Sevres & Meissen PorcelainOn July 19th of 2009, Graham Harkin climbed a ladder and snuck into Firle Place through an upstairs window.  He broke into two display cabinets and took with him multiple items, including these two porcelain pieces.  Years later, Harkin was finally apprehended when he attempted to collect a reward for another antique he had stolen.  It was after his arrest that he actually confessed to the Firle Place robbery.  The porcelains have yet to be recovered.

Sibanye GoldIn November of 2013, it was noticed that ‘concentration’ (a sand-like substance containing gold) was being stolen from a South African goldmine.  It took months to finally make an arrest, but on June 11th of 2014, 20 miners working for Sibayne Gold Ltd. were taken into custody.  The men were proven to be living well beyond their means, selling the gold on the black market to support their lavish lifestyles of farms, luxury homes, cattle and new vehicles, all of which was seized to help pay back the millions in gold they stole.

Steinmentz DiamondOn May 23rd of 2004, Jaguar Racing agreed to insert a Steinmetz diamond onto the nose of their Formula One racecar as part of a promotional gimmick for the upcoming film, Oceans 12.  As fate would have it, before the first lap was completed, the racecar crashed.  Due to safety regulations, no one was allowed to look for the diamond until the race was completed, some two hours later.  Guess what?  By then the diamond was gone.  Who knows how, or by whom, but to this day it has yet to be recovered.

Stradivarius ViolinOn May 15th of 1980, right after a concert, Roman Totenberg’s beloved Stradivarius violin was stolen from his office by young aspiring musician Philip Johnson.  Despite the fact that Johnson’s own girlfriend came forward and told police she felt he had stolen the violin, he was never investigated and soon left the area.  Fast-forward 35 years.  Johnson is dead and his ex-wife and her boyfriend are going through his belongings.  This is when they find a locked violin case, and inside is Totenberg’s stolen Stradivarius.  While the discovery made headlines and certainly elated Totenberg’s family, the shame comes in the discovery happening three years after Totenberg’s death, at the age of 101.

Summer Bliss GoldOn November 30th of 2012, six men wearing jackets that read POLICE boarded Summer Bliss (a fishing boat in the Caribbean) and made off with nearly $12,000,000 worth of gold.  They struck and subdued the captain before raiding the boat for 70 gold bars.  While six men were arrested following the robbery, whether or not they were ever formally charged or proven guilty is another, and to this date there are still a few bars missing.  Why the gold was being transported on a small boat with an unarmed crew instead of by air under heavy surveillance is a cause for speculation in itself.

Vase and FlowersSo, this remains a tad sketchy, since details are extremely hard to come by here, but in August of 2010, van Gogh’s famed painting (which had been stolen once before, in 1977, and was recovered a decade later) was stolen from Cairo’s Mohamed Mahmoud Khalil Museum.  Hours later, Egyptian officials claimed to have recovered the painting from two Italians attempting to board a plane to Italy.  They were mistaken, for the painting was still missing.  To this day, it still is.

Yamashita’s GoldDuring WWII, Japan was busy conquering and looting, eventually amassing a large (very large) quantity of treasures and gold.  Emperor Hirohito became nervous when the Americans started sinking their ships, and so he began to have the gold hidden, mostly in caves in the Philippines.  The cave entrances were blown up, to later be looted by the Japanese after the war.  Well, things didn’t work out as intended and after the war the U.S. government took in most of the stolen gold in exchange for a blind eye turned to the Japanese war criminals, especially those of the royal family.