Art Theft: One Of The Most Interesting and Famous Cases in History



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

The First Theft:
The very first documented case of art theft remained 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 shown 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 popular paintings on the planet and among 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. Quickly after, Pablo Picasso was jailed and questioned by the authorities, however was launched quickly.

It took about 2 years till the mystery was resolved by the Parisian cops. It turned out 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 offense was thoroughly conducted by a well-known bilker, 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.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was hectic producing copies for the well-known masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias apartment or condo. Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while trying to offer the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy.

The Biggest Theft in the U.S.A:
The most significant 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 got into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative value was approximated at around 300 million dollars. The thieves took 2 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 discovered and the case is still unsolved. According to current reports, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob along with French art dealerships are connected to the criminal offense.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most demanded painting by art thieves in history. It has actually been stolen twice and was only 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 saying: thanks for the poor security.

Three months later on, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Federal government with an deal: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government turned down the offer, but the Norwegian authorities teamed up with the British Cops and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that restored the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum authorities waiting for the burglars to demand ransom cash, reports declared that both paintings were burned to conceal proof. Ultimately, the Norwegian police found the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 but the facts on how they were recuperated are not known.


When you look at the some of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly prepared 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 popular paintings in the world and one of the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. The crime was thoroughly conducted by a infamous con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who Kurt Criter intended to make copies and sell them as if they were the initial painting.

Ultimately, Peruggia was captured 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 thieves in history.

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