Art Theft: The Many Fascinating and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an complex and ancient crime. When you look at the some of the most well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly planned operations that involve art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and countless dollars. Here you can check out a few of the most well-known 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 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 recently moved from the Basilica of the Assumption.

One Of The Most Famous Theft:
The most famous story of art theft includes among the most well-known 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 taken from the Louver. Quickly after, Pablo Picasso was detained and questioned by the police, but was released rapidly.

It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum employees by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who merely carried it hidden under his coat. The crime was thoroughly conducted by a infamous con male, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent 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 creating copies for the popular work of art, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias house. After two years where Peruggia did not speak with Chaudron, he attempted to make the very best from his stolen good. Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while trying to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was gone back to the Louver in 1913.

The Most significant Theft in the U.S.A:
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 broke into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative 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, in addition to a French and a Chinese artifact.

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

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most searched for painting by art burglars in history. It has actually been stolen twice and https://www.quora.com/profile/Kurt-Criter 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, set off 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 offer: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Federal government declined the offer, but the Norwegian police collaborated with the British Authorities and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that restored the painting to where it belongs.

10 years later, The Scream was stolen once again from the Munch Museum. This time, the robbers utilized a weapon and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum officials waiting for the burglars to request ransom loan, reports declared that both paintings were burned to hide proof. Ultimately, the Norwegian police discovered the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 but the truths on how they were recuperated are not understood yet.


When you look at the some of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that include art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most popular 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 activity was thoroughly carried out by a notorious con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who intended to make copies and offer them as if they were the initial painting.

Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the cops while trying to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most sought after painting by art burglars in history.

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