10 Things We’d Steal from The Met

Kayla Mahoney

Tour Guide

In the new movie Ocean’s 8, premiering on June (what else?) 8, a group of women band together to steal an expensive necklace from the Met Gala. We don’t know what jewelry will be at the actual Met ball every year, but we do know that there are some pretty expensive items at the Met itself.

If we were planning a heist (and we’re totally, totally not 😉), here’s what we’d steal.

#1 – William the Hippo

If we really want to hit The Met where it hurts, we’d steal its beloved mascot. This blue baby was made in Egypt and placed in a tomb to ensure the rebirth of its tomb-mate.

In 1931, a British author published a story in a magazine called “Punch” about a family that owned a framed print of The Met’s hippo and discovered it might have mystical powers.

They named the hippo in the print “William.” The name caught on, and now you can buy William reproductions in all forms (eraser, magnet, metal pin, etc) in The Met’s gift shop. Or you can just visit the real one at our house after we steal it.

#2 – Heart Scarab of Hatnefer

This necklace may be for the dead but it’s giving us life. The bottom of the scarab is inscribed with the Book of the Dead, Chapter 30A, imploring the deceased’s heart not to bear witness against the deceased during the final judgment in the afterlife. #truelove

Our heart is telling us to steal this, but our mind is… okay, our mind is also telling us to steal it.

#3 – Washington Crossing the Delaware

Probably one of the most epic paintings at The Met, Washington Crossing the Delaware by artist Emanuel Luetze is a gorgeous representation of ambition, restoration (the painting was destroyed and revamped at least twice in its lifetime), and the American dream that kept that little boat afloat (even though there’s no way that many people could really be on it successfully)*.

After we steal this painting, we’ll proudly showcase it every 4th of July as we drink our weight in beer and wear American Flag bikinis. Just like our forefathers would have wanted.

*In case you didn’t realize, this painting is super weird and historically inaccurate. Want to know how? Come on one of our tours of the Met!

#4 – Crown of the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception

There’s no way we could pass on the opportunity to steal this shiny, shiny Colombian crown.

Originally designed as an offering to an image of the Virgin Mary, this crown was never actually worn the way a crown should be, and we think that’s a darn shame. It’s our duty, no, our responsibility, to steal this crown and wear it around our house while we prance around in a robe ruling over our kingdom of pets and roommates.

Or maybe we’ll steal it and present it to Beyonce, the queen of the USA.  

#5 – Watch

We could easily smuggle this adorable pocket watch out of the museum without the guards raising an eyebrow. Featuring a baby Louis XIV on horseback, this watch was probably created specifically for the young king. We promise to honor its spirit by using it to never be late to drinks with friends again. Louis XIV did belong to the House of Bourbon after all…

#6 – Straw

Plastic straws are going the way of the dodo and Myspace, so this acquisition is more for necessity than the fame or fortune of stealing it. Created as a way to sip communion wine without wasting a drop of the consecrated beverage, we’d use it similarly – to not waste one drop of the $15 craft cocktails we’ll imbibe during after-heist drinks.

Can anyone say, “Happy hour?”

#7 – A Saint (Mark?) Reading

In case you’re wondering, that title – (Mark?) – is literally how The Met displays this painting.

If the Met can’t be bothered to find out if that’s St. Mark or not, they can’t be mad at us for stealing it. Plus, if that is St. Mark, this painting represents a dude who was already stolen. Meaning after he died the Venetians stole his body from the Egyptians.

Wait, what? Basically, since St. Mark was so beloved by the Christian Venetians, they wanted to have his body to put in a basilica they built to honor him. The Egyptians didn’t really agree with this plan, so the Venetians, Ocean’s 8 style, stuffed his body under some pork, knowing Egyptian Muslims wouldn’t want to be near it. The Venetians successfully smuggled St. Mark’s body out of Egypt.

So us stealing this painting is more about justice than anything else. Justice for Egypt, justice for St. Mark, and justice for a painting that could be just some random dude who liked to read.

#8 – Ceramic Horn

This beautiful ceramic horn was created for display and not for playing, but that’s okay because we don’t know how to play the horn anyway. Featuring an unidentified coat of arms, this glazed horn will look great above our mantle and serve as a conversation piece at all our dinner parties.

#9 – Gold Armband with Herakles Knot

This piece of jewelry we’d love to playfully purloin is not only gorgeous but also useful. According to Roman writer Pliny, the Herakles knot could cure wounds and possibly even avert evil. So if any security guards try to hassle us on the way out of the museum, we’ll be protected with this bad boy on our arm.

#10 – The Temple of Dendur

Okay, so we’re not sure how we would get this enormous temple out of The Met, but it would surely involve airlifting helicopters and some kind of holographic distraction. Hand-picked by Jackie O, The Temple of Dendur showcases scenes of Egyptian beliefs, myths, and ideals. And it will look great in our backyard.

It’s Heist Time, Baby

What would you steal from The Met? Let us know in the comments and enjoy Ocean’s 8 out June 8th, 2018.

And hey Sandra Bullock, if you’re reading this (which we’re sure you are), hit us up for ideas about what you should steal in Ocean’s 9. We got tons of em’!

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Additional Resources

  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art. (2000-2018). How William the Hippo Got His Name. https://www.metmuseum.org/blogs/now-at-the-met/2017/how-william-hippo-got-his-name
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art. (2000-2018). Heart Scarab of Hatnefer. https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/545146
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art. (2000-2018). Washington Crossing the Delaware. https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/11417
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art. (2000-2018). Crown of the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception, known as the Crown of the Andes. https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/21698
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art. (2000-2018). Watch. https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/459201
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art. (2000-2018). Straw. https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/475516
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art. (2000-2018). A Saint (Mark?) Reading. https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/437913
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art. (2000-2018). Ceramic Horn. https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/501691
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art. (2000-2018). Gold armband with Herakles knot. https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/256970
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art. (2000-2018). The Temple of Dendur. https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/547802

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