Art Theft: The Many Interesting 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 famous cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly prepared operations that include art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. Here you can check out a few of the most famous cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The very 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 carried 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 Many Famous Theft:
The most popular story of art theft includes among the most popular paintings worldwide and one of the most popular 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 arrested and questioned by the authorities, but was launched 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 among the museum employees by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who merely carried it hidden under his coat. Peruggia did not work alone. The crime was carefully performed by a notorious bilker, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who intended to make copies and offer them as if they were the original painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was hectic creating copies for the well-known work of art, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias apartment. After 2 years in which Peruggia did not speak with Chaudron, he attempted to make the very best from his taken excellent. Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was returned to the Louver in 1913.

The Biggest Theft in the USA:
The greatest art theft in United States occurred at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of thieves using cops uniforms broke into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative 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, along with a French and a Chinese artifact.

As of yet, none of the paintings have been found and the case is still unsolved. Inning accordance with recent reports, the FBI are examining the possibility that the Boston Mob in addition to French art dealers are connected to the criminal offense.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most demanded painting by art burglars in history. It has actually been stolen two times and was only just recently recovered. In 1994, throughout the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was taken 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 bad security.

Three months later, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Federal government with an offer: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Federal government refused the offer, however the Norwegian police teamed up with the British Police https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/kurt-criter and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that revived the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum authorities waiting for the burglars to request ransom money, reports declared that both paintings were burned to hide evidence. Eventually, the Norwegian cops discovered the two paintings on August 31, 2006 however the realities on how they were recovered are not understood.


When you look at the some of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that involve art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most well-known 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 crime was carefully performed by a well-known con guy, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who planned to make copies and sell them as if they were the original painting.

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

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