Art Theft: The Most Interesting and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an complex and ancient criminal activity. When you take a 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. Here you can check out about a few of the most well-known cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The first recorded case of art theft remained 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 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 well-known story of art theft involves among the most famous 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 apprehended and questioned by the police, however was released rapidly.

It took about 2 years till the secret was solved by the Parisian authorities. It ended up that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by among the museum staff members by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who simply carried it hidden under his coat. Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal activity was thoroughly 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.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was hectic developing copies for the popular work of art, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias apartment or condo. After 2 years in which Peruggia did not hear from Chaudron, he aimed to make the very best out of his taken great. Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the police while attempting to sell the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was returned to the Louver in 1913.

The Biggest Theft in the USA:
The biggest art theft in United States occurred at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of thieves using cops uniforms burglarized the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative worth was approximated 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 actually been discovered and the case is still unsolved. Inning accordance with current reports, the FBI are examining the possibility that the Boston Mob in addition to French art dealerships are linked to the crime.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most searched for painting by art thieves in history. It has been taken twice and was only recently recovered. In 1994, during the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was stolen from an Oslo gallery by two 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 Federal government with an offer: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government rejected the deal, but the Norwegian authorities worked together with the British Authorities and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that brought back the painting to where it belongs.

Ten years later on, The Scream was taken once again from the Munch Museum. This time, the burglars used a gun and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum authorities awaiting the thieves to request ransom money, 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 recovered are not understood.


When you look at the some of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see completely prepared operations that include art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most famous story of art theft involves 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 conducted by a notorious con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who planned to make copies and sell them as if they were the original painting.

Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the authorities while trying to sell the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy. https://soundcloud.com/kurt-criter The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most sought after painting by art thieves in history.

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