Art Theft: The Most Interesting and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an complex and ancient criminal activity. When you look at the some of the most well-known 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 popular 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 taken. While the triptych was being carried 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 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 famous paintings worldwide and one of the most famous artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen out of the Louver. Soon after, Pablo Picasso was arrested and questioned by the police, however was released quickly.

It took about 2 years till the secret was resolved by the Parisian authorities. It ended up that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of 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 infamous con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who intended to make copies and sell 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 apartment. Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the police while trying to offer the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy.

The Most significant Theft in the U.S.A:
The most significant art theft in United States took place at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars using police uniforms burglarized the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective value 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, as well as a French and a Chinese artifact.

As of yet, 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 in addition to French art dealers are connected to the crime.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most demanded painting by art burglars in history. It has been taken twice and was only recently recuperated. In 1994, throughout the Winter Season 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 saying: thanks for the poor security.

Three months later, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Government with an deal: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government https://www.pinterest.com/kurtcriter/ turned down the offer, but the Norwegian authorities worked together with the British Authorities and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that revived the painting to where it belongs.

10 years later on, The Scream was stolen again from the Munch Museum. This time, the robbers used a weapon and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum officials waiting on the burglars to demand ransom money, rumors claimed that both paintings were burned to hide evidence. Eventually, the Norwegian cops discovered the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 but the facts on how they were recovered are not known yet.


When you look at the some of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see completely prepared operations that involve art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most famous story of art theft includes one of the most famous paintings in the world and one of the most popular artists in history as a suspect. The criminal activity was thoroughly performed by a infamous con male, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who meant to make copies and offer them as if they were the initial painting.

Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the police while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealer 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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