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



Art theft is an complex and ancient criminal activity. When you look at the some of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly planned operations that involve art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and countless 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 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 assaulted by pirates who took it to the Gdansk cathedral in Poland. Nowadays, the piece is revealed at the National Museum in Gdansk where it was just recently moved from the Basilica of the Assumption.

The A Lot Of Famous Theft:
The most well-known story of art theft involves among the most popular paintings worldwide and among the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louver. Quickly after, Pablo Picasso was apprehended and questioned by the police, however was launched quickly.

It took about two years till the mystery was solved by the Parisian cops. It ended up that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum employees by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who merely carried it concealed under his coat. Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal offense was carefully performed by a well-known 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 original painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy developing copies for the well-known work of art, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias apartment. After two years where Peruggia did not hear from Chaudron, he aimed to make the best out of his taken good. Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while aiming to offer the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was gone back to the Louver in 1913.

The Biggest Theft in the U.S.A:
The biggest art theft in United States took place at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars using authorities uniforms burglarized the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective 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.

Since yet, none of the paintings have actually been discovered and the case is still unsolved. According to recent 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 searched for painting by art burglars in history. It has been stolen two times and was only recently recovered. In 1994, throughout the Winter Season Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was taken from an Oslo gallery by two burglars who broke through an open window, triggered the alarm and left a note saying: thanks for the bad security.

Three months later on, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Government with an deal: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government denied the deal, but the Norwegian cops worked together with the British Cops and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that brought back the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum officials waiting for the thieves to demand ransom loan, rumors claimed that both paintings were burned to conceal evidence. Eventually, the Norwegian cops found the two 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 planned operations that include art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most popular story of art theft involves one of the most popular paintings in the world and one of the most well-known artists Kurt Criter in history as a suspect. The criminal offense was thoroughly conducted by a well-known 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.

Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while trying 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 burglars in history.

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