Art Theft: The Many Fascinating and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an ancient and complicated crime. When you take a look at the a few of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly planned 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 recorded 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 transferred 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 Most Famous Theft:
The most popular story of art theft includes one of the most famous 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 taken out of the Louver. Quickly after, Pablo Picasso was detained and questioned by the cops, but was released rapidly.

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 just brought it hidden under his coat. The criminal offense was carefully conducted by a infamous con guy, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who intended to make copies and offer them as if they were the initial painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy developing copies for the famous masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias apartment or condo. Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the cops while attempting to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy.

The Most significant Theft in the USA:
The biggest art theft in United States took location 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 cumulative worth was estimated at around 300 million dollars. The thieves took two 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 actually been discovered and the case is still unsolved. According to current reports, the FBI are examining the possibility that the Boston Mob in addition to French art dealers are linked to the crime.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most searched for painting by art burglars in history. It has actually been stolen two times and was just just recently recovered. In 1994, throughout the Winter 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 on, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Federal government with an offer: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government declined the offer, however the Norwegian police collaborated with the British Cops and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that revived the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum authorities waiting for the thieves to demand ransom money, reports declared that both paintings were burned to hide evidence. Ultimately, the Norwegian authorities discovered the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 Kurt Criter however the truths on how they were recuperated are not understood.


When you look at the some of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly 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 famous paintings in the world and one of the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. The criminal offense was carefully performed by a well-known con guy, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who intended to make copies and offer them as if they were the original painting.

Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the police while trying to offer 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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