Art Theft: The Many Fascinating and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an complicated and ancient criminal offense. When you take a look at the a few of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly prepared operations that include art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and countless dollars. Here you can check out about a few of the most popular cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The very first documented 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 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 Presumption.

The Most Famous Theft:
The most popular story of art theft includes one of the most famous paintings on the planet and one of the most famous artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was taken from the Louver. Not long after, Pablo Picasso was apprehended and questioned by the police, but was launched rapidly.

It took about 2 years up until the mystery was fixed by the Parisian authorities. 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 carried it hidden under his coat. However, Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal activity was thoroughly conducted by a infamous bilker, 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 well-known masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias home. Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the cops while trying to offer the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy.

The Biggest Theft in the USA:
The greatest art theft in United States happened at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of thieves using police uniforms got into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective value 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 discovered and the case is still unsolved. According to recent rumors, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob together with French art dealerships are linked to the criminal activity.

The Scream:
The https://myspace.com/kurtcriter painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most looked for after painting by art burglars in history. It has actually been taken two times and was just just recently recuperated. In 1994, throughout the Winter Season 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 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 Government rejected the deal, however the Norwegian authorities teamed up with the British Cops and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that revived the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum authorities waiting for the thieves to request ransom cash, rumors declared that both paintings were burned to conceal proof. Eventually, the Norwegian cops discovered the 2 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 well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly prepared 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 famous artists in history as a suspect. The criminal activity was carefully carried out by a notorious 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.

Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while attempting 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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