Art Theft: The Most Interesting and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an ancient and complicated criminal activity. When you take a look at the a few of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that involve art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and countless dollars. Here you can read about some of the most famous 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 taken. While the triptych was being transported by ship from the Netherlands to Florence, the ship was assaulted 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 involves one of the most famous 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 taken out of the Louver. Right after, Pablo Picasso was detained and questioned by the police, however was launched rapidly.

It took about 2 years till the secret was solved by the Parisian police. It ended up that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum staff members by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who simply brought it concealed under his coat. However, Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal activity was thoroughly performed by a infamous bilker, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who intended to make copies and offer them as if they were the initial painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy creating copies for the popular masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias house. Ultimately, Peruggia was caught by the authorities while attempting to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy.

The Biggest 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 18, 1990, a group of burglars wearing cops uniforms burglarized the museum and took thirteen paintings Kurt Criter whose collective worth 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, https://www.pinterest.com/kurtcriter/ none of the paintings have been discovered and the case is still unsolved. According to recent rumors, the FBI are examining the possibility that the Boston Mob together with French art dealers are linked to the crime.

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 been stolen two times and was just recently recovered. In 1994, during the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was taken from an Oslo gallery by 2 burglars who broke through an open window, triggered the alarm and left a note stating: thanks for the bad security.

3 months later, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Government with an offer: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government declined the offer, but the Norwegian cops teamed up with the British Authorities and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that restored the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum authorities waiting for the thieves to demand ransom money, reports claimed that both paintings were burned to conceal proof. Ultimately, the Norwegian police discovered the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 but 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 include 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 popular artists in history as a suspect. The criminal offense was thoroughly conducted by a infamous 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 original painting.

Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the police while trying to offer 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 thieves in history.

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