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



Art theft is an ancient and complicated crime. When you look at the some of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly planned operations that involve art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of 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 recorded 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 transported 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 Assumption.

One Of The Most Famous Theft:
The most well-known story of art theft includes one of the most well-known paintings in the world 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. Not long after, Pablo Picasso was arrested and questioned by the police, but was launched 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 merely brought it concealed under his coat. The crime was thoroughly conducted by a notorious 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 original painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy producing copies for the famous work of art, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias home. After two years where Peruggia did not hear from Chaudron, he aimed to make the finest out of his stolen excellent. Ultimately, Peruggia was caught by the cops while attempting to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was gone back to the Louver in 1913.

The Biggest Theft in the USA:
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 thieves wearing authorities uniforms got into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative worth was approximated at around 300 million dollars. The burglars took 2 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 been found and the case is still unsolved. According to recent rumors, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob in addition to French art dealerships are linked to the criminal activity.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most looked for after painting by art burglars in history. It has actually been taken two times and was 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.

3 months later on, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Government with an offer: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government refused the deal, but the Norwegian police collaborated with the British Cops and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that restored the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum officials waiting for the burglars to request ransom cash, rumors declared that both paintings were burned to conceal proof. Ultimately, the Norwegian authorities discovered the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 but the truths 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 includes one of the most famous paintings in the world and one of the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. The crime was carefully performed by a notorious con male, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who meant 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, Kurt Criter The Scream, is probably the most sought after painting by art burglars in history.

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