Art Theft: The Most Intriguing and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an complex and ancient criminal offense. When you take a look at the a few of the most well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly prepared operations that include art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and countless dollars. Here you can read about a few of the most famous cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The very first documented case of art theft remained in 1473, when two panels of altarpiece of the Last Judgment by the Dutch painter Hans Memling were stolen. 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 revealed at the National Museum in Gdansk where it was recently moved from the Basilica of the Presumption.

The Most Famous Theft:
The most popular story of art theft includes one of the most well-known paintings in the world and among the most popular artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen out of the Louver. Not long after, Pablo Picasso was arrested and questioned by the authorities, however was launched rapidly.

It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum employees by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who simply carried it hidden under his coat. The criminal activity was carefully performed by a infamous con male, 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.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was hectic creating copies for the famous masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias home. Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the police while attempting to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy.

The Biggest Theft in the USA:
The biggest art theft in United States took location at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars wearing authorities uniforms broke into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective worth was estimated at around 300 million dollars. The burglars took 2 paintings and one print by Rembrandt, and works https://www.spokeo.com/Kurt-Criter of Vermeer, Manet, Degas, Govaert Flinck, in addition to a French and a Chinese artifact.

Since yet, none of the paintings have been discovered and the case is still unsolved. According to recent reports, the FBI are examining the possibility that the Boston Mob together with French art dealerships are connected to the criminal offense.

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 two times and was only just recently recovered. In 1994, throughout the Winter Season Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was stolen from an Oslo gallery by two burglars who broke through an open window, triggered the alarm and left a note stating: thanks for the bad security.

Three months later on, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Federal government with an deal: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government refused the deal, but the Norwegian police collaborated with the British Authorities and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that restored the painting to where it belongs.

10 years later on, The Scream was stolen again from the Munch Museum. This time, the burglars used a weapon and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum officials waiting on the thieves to request ransom cash, reports declared that both paintings were burned to hide proof. Eventually, the Norwegian authorities found the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 however the realities on how they were recuperated are not understood yet.


When you look at the some of the most well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that include art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most popular story of art theft includes one of the most popular paintings in the world and one of the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. The criminal offense was thoroughly performed by a notorious con guy, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who planned to make copies and sell them as if they were the initial painting.

Ultimately, Peruggia was caught by the police while trying to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most looked for after painting by art thieves in history.

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