The movie "National Treasure" suggests that the Declaration of Independence might be vulnerable to theft. That may be fiction, but it does seem that hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of other irreplaceable artifacts are missing from the National Archives and Records Administration - either stolen or lost. Handwritten letters by Ulysses S. Grant, a photo of President Ronald Reagan with Margaret Thatcher, and a portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt are just some of the historic artifacts that have disappeared. Dozens of presidential pardons also have disappeared.
One career National Archives employee was able to steal and sell artifacts for more than $200,000. One of the documents found its way onto eBay. The employee involved pleaded guilty, and much of what he stole was recovered. However, many more items are also missing. The Office of the Inspector General for the National Archives and Records Administration says one missing artifact is believed to have been purchased by an unnamed city's mayor and put on display in city hall.
You can read more at http://www.wtopnews.com/index.php?nid=25&sid=350306 and listen to an audio report at http://audio.wtopnews.com/dec2004/1203_declaration.ram