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



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

The First Theft:
The 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.

One Of The Most Famous Theft:
The most famous story of art theft includes one of the most famous 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 from the Louver. Right after, Pablo Picasso was detained and questioned by the police, however was launched quickly.

It took about two years till the mystery was solved by the Parisian cops. It turned out 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 activity was thoroughly carried out by a notorious con male, 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 popular masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias home. Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the authorities while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy.

The Most significant 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 thieves using cops uniforms broke into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective value 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, along with a French and a Chinese artifact.

Since yet, none of the paintings have actually been found and the case is still unsolved. According to recent rumors, the FBI are examining the possibility that the Boston Mob in addition to French art dealerships are connected to the crime.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most searched for painting by art thieves https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNxmDR0Lf7eKav0Z4XkSZcWl9N4D2c9qa 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.

Three months later on, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Federal government with an deal: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government turned down the deal, however the Norwegian authorities worked together with the British Police and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that revived the painting to where it belongs.

10 years later on, The Scream was stolen again from the Munch Museum. This time, the burglars used a gun and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum authorities waiting on the thieves to demand ransom loan, rumors declared that both paintings were burned to hide evidence. Ultimately, the Norwegian cops discovered the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 however the truths on how they were recovered are unknowned yet.


When you look at the some of the most well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that include 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 out by an art faker who meant to make copies and offer them as if they were the initial painting.

Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the cops while trying to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most sought after painting by art thieves in history.

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