Art Theft: The Most Interesting and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an complex and ancient criminal offense. When you look at the some of the most well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see completely prepared operations that include art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. Here you can check out some of the most famous cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The first documented case of art theft remained in 1473, when 2 panels of altarpiece of the Last Judgment by the Dutch painter Hans Memling were taken. While the triptych was being carried 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.

One Of The Most Famous Theft:
The most popular story of art theft includes among the most popular paintings in the world and among the most popular artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was taken out of the Louver. Not long after, Pablo Picasso was detained and questioned by the authorities, but was launched rapidly.

It took about 2 years up until the mystery was resolved by the Parisian police. It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by among the museum workers by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who just carried it concealed under his coat. Nonetheless, Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal offense was carefully performed by a well-known bilker, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who meant to make copies and sell them as if they were the initial painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was hectic developing copies for the famous work of art, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias house. After 2 years where Peruggia did not hear from Chaudron, he aimed to make the best from his taken good. Eventually, 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 Greatest Theft in the U.S.A:
The greatest art theft in United States happened at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars using cops uniforms burglarized 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 been found and the case is still unsolved. According to recent rumors, the FBI are investigating https://www.quora.com/profile/Kurt-Criter the possibility that the Boston Mob together with French art dealerships are connected to the criminal offense.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most demanded painting by art thieves in history. It has actually been stolen twice and was just recently recuperated. In 1994, throughout the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was taken from an Oslo gallery by 2 thieves who broke through an open window, triggered the alarm and left a note stating: thanks for the poor security.

3 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 Federal government turned down the deal, however the Norwegian police worked together with the British Police 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 however the truths on how they were recovered are not understood.


When you look at the some of the most popular 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 well-known story of art theft includes one of the most popular paintings in the world and one of the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. The criminal offense was thoroughly carried out by a notorious con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who meant to make copies and offer them as if they were the initial painting.

Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the police 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 looked for after painting by art thieves in history.

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