The Fault In Our Stars bench theft shocks fans of John Green's bestselling novel

Gillian Orr looks at the lucrative black market in movie memorabilia

Young folk have been flocking to Amsterdam ever since John Green's bestselling novel The Fault in Our Stars had its young couple taking a memorable trip there. But fans of the movie version who hope to retrace Hazel and Gus's steps around the Dutch capital will be disappointed to learn that the green canalside bench that forms the setting for a particularly revelatory moment in the weepy flick has been stolen.

The authorities only discovered the Young Adult landmark had gone missing after film fans alerted them to it. And it's left them scratching their heads. "It's a bit embarrassing, because we do keep good track of them, but it's gone all right," said spokesman Stephan van der Hoek. And he couldn't resist adding a crack about where the bench might end up. "Keep your eyes on eBay," he joked.

Of course, it could just be an over-zealous fan keen to own a piece of memorabilia from their favourite movie (they're an ardent bunch, those John Green followers). After the film Notting Hill came out, similar pilgrimages were made to the house with the blue door, which made up the exterior of Hugh Grant's W11 residence. No one managed to actually get the door off its hinges, but the owners were fed up enough with the Richard Curtis tourists to paint the door black. It was later auctioned off for charity.

Movie memorabilia is worth big bucks these days and a classic prop will come with a price tag running into hundreds of thousands of pounds. So whether they are destined for front rooms or the black market, devious types will go to great lengths to secure a piece of film history. One of the most famous recent thefts was Dorothy's ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz.

Someone broke into the Judy Garland museum in Minnesota in 2005 and made off with the seriously expensive footwear which was said to be worth an estimated $1m (£583m). The shoes still haven't been found, but at least there are three other pairs in existence (that are no doubt watched a little more closely now).

It was a case of life imitating art when a replica of the Maltese Falcon statue was pinched from San Francisco restaurant John's Grill. It had been gifted by one of the stars of The Maltese Falcon, Elisha Cook Jr, because the book's author and main character liked to eat there. Despite a $25,000 (£14,500) reward being offered, it never turned up.

Meanwhile Scaramanga from The Man With the Golden Gun has been left unarmed since the titular shiny firearm went missing from Hertfordshire's Elstree Studios in 2008.

Read more: The Fault In Our Stars bench goes missing
The Fault in Our Stars' Ansel Elgort to show off piano skills
The Fault in Our Stars review: Schmaltzy drama disappoints
Actress Shailene Woodley wants to play Stevie Nicks
How did The Fault in Our Stars become a bestseller?

It would seem that owners of The Lord of the Rings memorabilia appear to be as cursed as the ring itself, with private collections of various swords, jewellery and maps from the film continually being stolen from various homes and storage facilities.

But props don't necessarily have to be from a classic flick for people to clamour over them. Whoever made off with parts of a battering ram used in Russell Crowe's Robin Hood from Duncarron Medieval Village last year obviously didn't agree with the critics who universally panned it. Of course, it's not just enterprising thieves who end up pinching movie memorabilia. When filming for the final Harry Potter film came to a close, the young stars ignored the "no props leaving set" policy and filled their boots with various bits.

And although the two pairs of glasses Daniel Radcliffe stole should be worth a pretty penny on eBay, with the star making an estimated £45m from the series, it's unlikely he'll ever need to put them on there.

Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Oliver
filmTV chef Jamie Oliver turned down role in The Hobbit
News
The official police photograph of Dustin Diamond taken after he was arrested in Wisconsin
TVDownfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Arts and Entertainment
Clueless? Locked-door mysteries are the ultimate manifestation of the cerebral detective story
booksAs a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Arts and Entertainment
Tracy Emin's 1998 piece 'My Bed' on display at Christie's
artOne expert claims she did not
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says

film George RR Martin owns a cinema in Santa Fe

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Clued up: John Lynch and Gillian Anderson in ‘The Fall’

TV review

Arts and Entertainment
The Baker (James Corden) struggles with Lilla Crawford’s Little Red Riding Hood

film...all the better to bamboozle us
Arts and Entertainment
English: Romantic Landscape

art
Arts and Entertainment
Laugh a minute: Steph Parker with Nigel Farage

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Comic Ivor Dembina has staged his ‘Traditional Jewish Xmas Eve Show’ for the past 20 years; the JNF UK charity is linked to the Jewish National Fund, set up to fund Jewish people buying land in Palestinian territories
comedy

Arts and Entertainment
Transformers: Age of Extinction was the most searched for movie in the UK in 2014

film
Arts and Entertainment
Mark Ronson has had two UK number two singles but never a number one...yet

music
Arts and Entertainment
Clara Amfo will take over from Jameela Jamil on 25 January

radio
Arts and Entertainment
This is New England: Ken Cheeseman, Ann Dowd, Frances McDormand and Richard Jenkins in Olive Kitteridge

The most magnificently miserable show on television in a long timeTV
Arts and Entertainment
Andrea Faustini looks triumphant after hearing he has not made it through to Sunday's live final

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

    A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

    Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
    Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

    Scarred by the bell

    The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
    Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

    Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

    Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
    Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

    Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

    Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
    The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

    The Locked Room Mysteries

    As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
    Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

    How I made myself Keane

    Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
    Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

    Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

    Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
    A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

    Wear in review

    A look back at fashion in 2014
    Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

    Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

    Might just one of them happen?
    War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

    The West needs more than a White Knight

    Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
    Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

    'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

    Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
    The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

    The stories that defined 2014

    From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
    Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

    Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

    Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?