Art Theft: The Most Fascinating and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an ancient and complex criminal offense. When you take a look at the some of the most well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly prepared operations that involve art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and countless dollars. Here you can check out some of the most famous cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The first recorded 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 shown at the National Museum in Gdansk where it was recently moved from the Basilica of the Presumption.

The Most Famous Theft:
The most famous story of art theft involves among the most well-known paintings on the planet 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. Not long after, Pablo Picasso was arrested and questioned by the authorities, but was launched rapidly.

It took about 2 years till the secret was resolved by the Parisian police. It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by among the museum staff members by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who merely brought it concealed under his coat. However, Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal activity was thoroughly conducted by a infamous 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 busy producing copies for the popular work of art, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias apartment or condo. After two years in which Peruggia did not speak with Chaudron, he tried to make the very best out of his stolen excellent. Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the police while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was returned to the Louver in 1913.

The Greatest Theft in the USA:
The most significant art theft in United States occurred at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars wearing authorities uniforms burglarized the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative worth was approximated 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.

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

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most searched for painting by art thieves in history. It has been taken two times and was only just recently recovered. In 1994, during 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 saying: thanks for the bad security.

3 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 turned down the offer, however the Norwegian authorities teamed up with the British Authorities and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that brought back the painting to where it belongs.

10 years later, The Scream was stolen again from the Munch Museum. This time, the robbers utilized a weapon https://www.whitepages.com/name/Kurt-Criter/Denver-CO and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum authorities waiting on the thieves to request ransom money, reports declared that both paintings were burned to conceal proof. Eventually, the Norwegian cops discovered the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 however the truths on how they were recovered are not understood yet.


When you look at the some of the most well-known 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 popular story of art theft includes one of the most well-known paintings in the world and one of the most popular artists in history as a suspect. The criminal activity was thoroughly conducted by a well-known con male, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who planned to make copies and sell them as if they were the initial painting.

Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the cops while trying to offer the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most looked for after painting by art burglars in history.

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