Art Theft: The Most Interesting and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an ancient and complex criminal offense. When you take a look at the a few of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly planned operations that involve art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. Here you can read about a few of the most popular cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The first recorded 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 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 shown 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 popular story of art theft includes among the most well-known paintings in the world and one of the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen out of the Louver. Right after, Pablo Picasso was jailed and questioned by the police, but was launched rapidly.

It took about 2 years till the secret was fixed by the Parisian authorities. It ended up that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by among the museum workers by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who simply carried it hidden under his coat. Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal activity was thoroughly conducted by a notorious con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who meant to make copies and sell them as if they were the initial painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy developing copies for the famous work of art, 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 Greatest Theft in the USA:
The greatest art theft in United States happened at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars wearing cops 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 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. Inning accordance with recent rumors, the FBI are examining the possibility that the Boston Mob along with French art dealers are linked to the criminal activity.

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 twice and was only just recently recuperated. In 1994, during the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was stolen from an Oslo gallery by 2 burglars who broke through an open window, triggered the alarm and left a note saying: thanks for the poor security.

Three months later on, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Federal https://foursquare.com/v/kurt-criter/59ae10555161136b77113e4f government with an offer: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government refused the offer, Kurt Criter but the Norwegian authorities teamed up with the British Cops and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that brought back the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum officials waiting for the thieves to demand ransom loan, rumors claimed that both paintings were burned to conceal proof. Ultimately, the Norwegian authorities discovered the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 however the truths on how they were recovered are not known.


When you look at the some of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that involve art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most well-known story of art theft involves one of the most famous paintings in the world and one of the most popular artists in history as a suspect. The criminal offense was carefully performed by a infamous 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.

Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the cops while trying to offer 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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