Art Theft: The Most Interesting and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an ancient and complex crime. When you look at the some 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 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.

The Many Famous Theft:
The most well-known story of art theft includes one of the most well-known paintings worldwide and among the most popular artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was taken from the Louver. Soon after, Pablo Picasso was apprehended and questioned by the authorities, but was released rapidly.

It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum employees by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who simply brought it hidden under his coat. The criminal activity was thoroughly conducted by a infamous 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 original painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy creating copies for the popular work of art, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias apartment. After two years where Peruggia did not speak with Chaudron, he attempted to make the very best out of his taken great. Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the cops while trying to offer the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was gone back to the Louver in 1913.

The Greatest 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 using police uniforms burglarized the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective value was approximated at around 300 million dollars. The thieves 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 actually been found and the case is still unsolved. According to current rumors, the FBI are examining the possibility that the Boston Mob along with French art dealers are connected to the criminal offense.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most demanded painting by art burglars in history. It has actually been taken two times and was only recently recovered. In 1994, throughout the Winter Season Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was stolen from an Oslo gallery by 2 thieves 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 refused the deal, but the Norwegian authorities worked together with the British Cops and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting https://www.yelp.com/biz/kurt-criter-denver-2 operation that revived the painting to where it belongs.

10 years later on, The Scream was taken once again from the Munch Museum. This time, the burglars utilized a weapon and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum authorities waiting on the thieves to request ransom cash, rumors claimed that both paintings were burned to conceal proof. Ultimately, the Norwegian authorities discovered the two paintings on August 31, 2006 but the realities on how they were recovered are not known yet.


When you look at the some of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that include art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most famous story of art theft includes one of the most famous paintings in the world and one of the most popular artists in history as a suspect. The criminal offense 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 sell them as if they were the initial painting.

Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the authorities while trying to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most looked for after painting by art thieves in history.

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