Art Theft: The Many Interesting and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an ancient and complex crime. When you take a look at the some of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly planned operations that involve art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and countless dollars. Here you can check out about some of the most famous cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The first documented case of art theft remained in 1473, when 2 panels of altarpiece of the Last Judgment by the Dutch painter Hans Memling were taken. While the triptych was being transported by ship from the Netherlands to Florence, the ship was attacked by pirates who took it to the Gdansk cathedral in Poland. Nowadays, the piece is shown at the National Museum in Gdansk where it was recently moved from the Basilica of the Presumption.

The Most Famous Theft:
The most famous story of art theft involves among the most well-known paintings on the planet and one of the most famous artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louver. Right after, Pablo Picasso was apprehended and questioned by the authorities, but was released rapidly.

It took about 2 years up until the mystery was solved by the Parisian police. It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum staff members by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who merely brought it hidden under his coat. Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal activity was carefully conducted by a infamous bilker, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who meant to make copies and offer them as if they were the original painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy developing copies for the famous work of art, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias house. After 2 years in which Peruggia did not speak with Chaudron, he attempted to make the finest from his taken good. Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the cops while aiming to offer the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was returned to the Louver in 1913.

The Greatest Theft in the USA:
The most significant art theft in United States happened at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of thieves using police uniforms got into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective value was estimated at around 300 million dollars. The thieves took two paintings and one print by Rembrandt, and works of Vermeer, Manet, Degas, Govaert Flinck, in addition to a French and a Chinese artifact.

As of yet, none of the paintings have actually been found and the case is still unsolved. According to current rumors, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob in addition to French art dealerships are connected to the crime.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most searched for painting by art burglars in history. It has been taken twice and was just recently recuperated. In 1994, during the Winter Season Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was stolen from an Oslo gallery by 2 burglars who broke through an open window, set off the alarm and left a note stating: thanks for the poor security.

3 months later, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Federal government with an deal: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Federal government refused the offer, however the Norwegian police worked together with the British Cops and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that revived the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum authorities waiting for the burglars to request ransom money, rumors claimed that both paintings were burned to conceal evidence. Eventually, the Norwegian authorities found the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 however the realities on how they were recuperated are not understood.


When you look at the some of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly planned operations that involve art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most famous story of art theft includes one of the most popular paintings in the world and one of the most popular artists in history as a suspect. The criminal activity was carefully conducted by a notorious con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who planned to make copies and offer them as if they were the initial painting.

Eventually, https://www.spokeo.com/Kurt-Criter Peruggia was caught by the police while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most looked for after painting by art thieves in history.

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