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



Art theft is an ancient and complex crime. When you take a look at the a few of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that include art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. Here you can check out a few of the most popular 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 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 recently moved from the Basilica of the Presumption.

One Of The Most Famous Theft:
The most famous story of art theft involves one of the most famous paintings on the planet and among the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was taken out of the Louver. Right after, Pablo Picasso was jailed and questioned by the authorities, but was released rapidly.

It took about 2 years till 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 hidden under his coat. Peruggia did not work alone. The crime was thoroughly conducted by a notorious bilker, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who meant to make copies and sell them as if they were the original painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was hectic producing copies for the well-known work of art, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias apartment or condo. Ultimately, Peruggia was caught by the police while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy.

The Greatest Theft in the USA:
The biggest art theft in United States happened at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars using authorities uniforms got 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, 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 recent rumors, the FBI are investigating 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 most likely the most looked for after painting by art burglars in history. It has been stolen twice https://www.whitepages.com/name/Kurt-Criter and was only recently recovered. In 1994, throughout the Winter Season Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was taken 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 bad security.

Three 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 cops worked together with the British Authorities and the Getty Museum to organize a sting 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 burglars to request ransom loan, reports claimed that both paintings were burned to conceal evidence. Eventually, the Norwegian police found the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 however the truths on how they were recuperated are not known.


When you look at the some of the most famous 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 involves one of the most famous paintings in the world and one of the most famous artists in history as a suspect. The criminal offense was carefully performed by a well-known con male, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who planned to make copies and sell them as if they were the initial painting.

Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the authorities while trying to offer the painting to an art dealer 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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