Topless, a 2020 ZEE5 Tamil original action drama, revolves around a gang, that is led by a con man, a politician and a foreign national, who are all determined to acquire a painting. The series shows how these characters come together to carry out this art heist. Bankrolled by Sinesh KS under the Soldiers Factory banner, the show’s includes Guru Somasundaram, Bazak Gaziler Prasad, Gokul Anand, Arun Alexander, Harish Uththaman and Rohit Muralidharan in prominent roles. Written and helmed by Dinesh Mohan, Topless is a comedy-thriller in the heist genre.
Watch the first episode of Topless here.
There is something very alluring about stories of heists. While we are not debating the morality of theft here, one can’t help but admire the clever manner in which many of these heists are pulled off. They usually require much planning and a little bit of thinking outside the box. So put your conscience aside for five minutes and take a look at these five heists from across the globe that went down in history as being nothing short of sensational!
Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa
The most famous painting in the world, Mona Lisa- also known as La Gioconda- was just a small, unassuming portrait until it was stolen from the Louvre museum (in Paris) on August 21, 1911 and caused a sensation. Newspapers had just begun to take off and the press had a field day, jeering at the inept security in the famous museum. While Pablo Picasso was a prominent suspect in this crime, he wasn’t arrested as there was no evidence against him. However, in December 1913, the true culprit was discovered. An Italian handyman named Vincenzo Perugia had been hired to make protective glass cases for Louvre’s most famous works, including the Mona Lisa. One night, he simply removed the painting and hid it under his smock and walked out coolly. Perugia’s crime was discovered when he contacted a prominent art dealer in Florence and claimed that the celebrated portrait is in his possession. On being arrested, Vincenzo had stated that he stole this precious artwork to return it to its native place in Italy. He expected that he would be rewarded for his patriotism and was bewildered by the outrage his act had evoked. Perugia served six months in jail for stealing the portrait and the Mona Lisa was duly returned to the Louvre.
The Theft Of The Crown Jewels
Colonel Blood developed good relations with the Keeper of the Jewels at the Tower of London and even arranged a fake wedding between his ‘nephew’ and the keeper’s daughter. Having gained the man’s trust, he requested to see the crown jewels just once. However, when the keeper opened the protective grille surrounding the jewels, Blood knocked him unconscious and grabbed them. However, their theft was discovered immediately and Blood and his accomplices were thrown into prison. Blood, however, knew that the king had a liking for bold scoundrels and demanded an audience with him. King Charles asked Blood, “What if I should give you your life?”, and Blood replied, “I would endeavour to deserve it, Sire!” The king was amused by his effrontery and he was pardoned and granted lands and pension.
Chelambra Bank Robbery
The South Malabar Gramin Bank robbery in the Malappuram district of Kerala is undoubtedly one of the most sensational bank robberies in the crime history of Kerala. Four burglars, carried out the largest bank heist on New Year’s Eve after getting inspired by the theft carried out in John Abraham starrer Dhoom. They stole a total of 80 kg of gold and Rs 2.5 million in cash. The robbery was quite dramatic and movie-like with the robbers drilling a hole through the roof of a restaurant on the ground floor to enter the bank. However, the four of them were arrested and 57 kg of gold and Rs 551, 000 in cash were recovered by the cops.
National Museum of Fine Arts, Stockholm
Two decades ago, a gang of thieves made it to the newspaper headlines globally when they filched two Renoir artworks and one Rembrandt painting from the National Museum in Stockholm in December 2000. This is definitely considered to be one of the most sensational thefts ever carried out as the thieves stole the art, staged two car explosions to distract the cops and then escaped their way out by jumping into a getaway speedboat outside the waterfront museum. However, in 2005, all the paintings were recovered undamaged.
The Carlton Hotel, Cannes
It was in July 2013 during the weekend of the Cannes Film Festival, when a disguised thief (wearing a cap and bandana), entered the Carlton Intercontinental Hotel and walked away with a sack containing 72 jewels. He entered the hotel’s poorly-guarded ground-floor exhibition room, where Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev’s jewels were on show. He had a handgun aand got past the unarmed security quite easily.
Share your views on heists and the web series Topless in the comments section below. Also, watch Silambarasan’s Tamil action comedy film Vantha Rajavathaan Varuven on ZEE5.