Picasso, Matisse Stolen in Mega Art Heist

But previous heists have proved lucrative for thieves who have either stolen to order for their customers or have held valuable art as a ransom.

VIDEO: Munch paintings stolen
Aug. 24, 2004: Munch Paintings Stolen

"Thieves are looking to make money out of this. Once they realize that they can't put it out in the market, they will use it to get a ransom payment or in some cases, to get a payout from an insurance company."

While not the biggest art heist ever, as was at first thought, it ranks up there among the top art thefts in decades.

The most expensive art heist to date is deemed by experts to be the theft of $500 million worth of paintings from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston in 1990, and the most famous to be the removal of Leonard da Vinci's Mona Lisa from the Louvre in 1911.

ABC's Ammu Kannampilly, Jean-Nicholas Fievet and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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