The Invaluable Nobel Prize :
The prestigious medallion has been an object of fancy for burglars around the world for long. The Nobel medals, when auctioned are worth tens of thousands of dollars, sometimes even millions. Stolen medals, however, may not fetch that kind of money. It is highly likely that these stolen medals are dissolved and sold for the value of the gold. Until 1980, the Swedish medals, each weighing approximately 200gm, were made of 23 carat gold. Since then, they have been made of 18 carat recycled gold, with a coating of 24 carat gold.
India’s first Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s Nobel Prize citation was stolen in 2004 from the museum of the Visva Bharthi University at Shantiniketan, in Kolkata. It has still not been found even after repeated attempts by the CBI. Soon after the theft, the CBI had taken over the case, but failed to recover the medal and closed the case in 2007. However, under political pressure, the case was reopened in 2008, only to close it again in 2009. The case was back in news again in November 2016 when a Special Investigating Team arrested Pradip Bauri who was accused of providing shelter to the culprits and helping them flee the state with the stolen materials.
Kay Miller: The 1985 Nobel Peace Prize was shared by Kay Miller and her colleagues at the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. The medal is believed to have been stolen in October 2006 from her home. In a bizarre turn of events in January 2007, when Salt Lake City police were searching for a gun in the car of a man wanted for domestic violence charges, they found dozens of driver’s licenses, and Miller’s Nobel Prize. The man had previously stayed in Miller’s basement.
Former chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Authority, Yasser Arafat, had shared the 1994 Nobel Peace prize with then-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres for their work in reaching the 1993 Oslo interim peace accord. After his death in 2004, the medallion had been kept in his Gaza headquarters. When the PLO rival Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007 from forces loyal to Arafat’s successor, President Mahmoud Abbas, the building was looted and the medal stolen.The terror group returned the medal to the Palestinian govt in the West Bank in October 2016
Ernest O. Lawrence:
In March 2007, employees at the Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California discovered to utter shock that the gold Nobel medallion won by physicist Ernest Lawrence was missing from a locked glass cabinet. A few days after the theft, the medal was recovered from 22-year-old Ian Michael Sanchez, a student who was working at the premises. The 1939 Nobel Prize for Physics was awarded to Professor Ernest O. Lawrence for his invention of the cyclotron, an accelerator of sub-atomic particles. Cyclotron is one the first crucial devices that made possible a nuclear era.
The Nobel Peace Prize medal won by Arthur Henderson, one of the founding fathers of Britain’s Labour Party, had been stolen in a £150,000 raid at the Lord Mayor’s office in Newcastle in April 2013. Henderson, a key figure in the modern Labour Party, was its first-ever cabinet minister and had won his prize for his ultimately unsuccessful work on international disarmament before World War II.Henderson, fondly known as ‘Uncle Arthur’ was Labour Party’s first ever cabinet minister. He won the prize in 1934, just an year before his death. In spite of an arrest, the medal has not been recovered till date.
Kailash Satyarthi’s 2014 Nobel Prize medallion replica has been stolen from his Delhi residence.Nobel laureate and child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi’s Greater Kailash residence was burgled on February 7 morning ,2016 with his 2014 Nobel Prize citation being stolen along with some other things. However, it has been recovered after police arrested three burglars.The child rights activist won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. He shared the prize with Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai.Satyarthi had presented his Nobel Peace Prize medal to President Pranab Mukherjee in January, 2015. The original medal has been preserved and is now on display at the Rashtrapati Bhavan Museum