Art Theft: The Most Interesting and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an complicated and ancient criminal activity. When you take a 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. Here you can read about some of the most well-known cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The first documented case of art theft was in 1473, when 2 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 just recently moved from the Basilica of the Presumption.

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

It took about two years till the secret was resolved by the Parisian cops. It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum workers by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who just brought it hidden under his coat. Nevertheless, Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal offense was thoroughly carried out by a well-known bilker, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who meant to make copies and sell them as if they were the original painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was hectic developing copies for the popular work of art, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias home. Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the cops while trying to offer the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy.

The Greatest Theft in the USA:
The most significant art theft in United States took location at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March https://foursquare.com/v/kurt-criter/59ae10555161136b77113e4f 18, 1990, a group of burglars wearing https://medium.com/@kurtcriter authorities uniforms burglarized the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative value was estimated at around 300 million dollars. The thieves took 2 paintings and one print by Rembrandt, and works of Vermeer, Manet, Degas, Govaert Flinck, in addition to a French and a Chinese artifact.

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

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most looked for after painting by art burglars in history. It has actually been stolen twice and was only recently recovered. In 1994, throughout the Winter Season Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was taken 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.

3 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, however the Norwegian authorities teamed up with the British Cops and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that restored the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum authorities waiting for the burglars to request ransom money, reports claimed that both paintings were burned to hide proof. Ultimately, the Norwegian authorities discovered the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 but the facts on how they were recuperated are not understood.


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

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

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