Art Theft: The Most Interesting and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an complicated and ancient criminal offense. When you look at the some of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see completely prepared operations that involve art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and countless dollars. Here you can check out some of the most popular cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The first documented case of art theft remained in 1473, when two 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 just recently moved from the Basilica of the Assumption.

One Of The Most Famous Theft:
The most well-known story of art theft involves among the most famous paintings worldwide and one of the most popular artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louver. Right after, Pablo Picasso was jailed and questioned by the authorities, however was released rapidly.

It took about two 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 hidden under his coat. Peruggia did not work alone. The crime was carefully carried out by a notorious con man, 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 producing copies for the popular masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias house. After 2 years where Peruggia did not speak with Chaudron, he tried to make the very best from his stolen good. Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while attempting to sell the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was gone back to the Louver in 1913.

The Greatest 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 police uniforms got into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective worth was estimated at around 300 million dollars. The burglars 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.

Since yet, none of the paintings have actually been found and the case is still unsolved. Inning accordance with current rumors, the FBI are investigating 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 sought after painting by art thieves in history. It has actually been stolen two times 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, set off the alarm and left a note stating: thanks for the bad security.

3 months later, https://www.pinterest.com/kurtcriter/ the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Federal government with an offer: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government denied the deal, however the Norwegian police worked together with the British Cops and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that restored the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum authorities waiting for the thieves to demand ransom money, rumors declared that both paintings were burned to conceal proof. Ultimately, the Norwegian police found the two paintings on August 31, 2006 but the realities on how they were recovered are not understood.


When you look at the some of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see completely 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 well-known paintings in the world and one of the most famous artists in history as a suspect. The criminal activity was thoroughly performed by a infamous con guy, 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.

Ultimately, Peruggia was caught by the cops while attempting to sell the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most looked for after painting by art thieves in history.

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