Art Theft: The Most Intriguing and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an complicated and ancient criminal offense. When you look at the some of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see completely prepared operations that include art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and countless dollars. Here you can read about a few 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 two panels of altarpiece of the Last Judgment by the Dutch painter Hans Memling were taken. 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 revealed at the National Museum in Gdansk where it was just recently moved from the Basilica of the Presumption.

The Most Famous Theft:
The most famous story of art theft includes among the most popular paintings in the world and one of the most famous artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was taken out of the Louver. Quickly after, Pablo Picasso was arrested and questioned by the cops, but was launched rapidly.

It took about 2 years till the secret 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. Nevertheless, Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal activity was thoroughly conducted by a well-known bilker, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who intended to make copies and offer them as if they were the initial painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy producing copies for the famous work of art, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias house. Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the police while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy.

The Most significant Theft in the U.S.A:
The greatest art theft in United States took place at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars wearing cops uniforms burglarized the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective worth was estimated at around 300 million dollars. The thieves took 2 paintings and one print by Rembrandt, and works of Vermeer, Manet, Degas, Govaert Flinck, in addition to 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 reports, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob along with French art dealers 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 stolen two times and was only recently recuperated. In 1994, throughout the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was stolen from an Oslo gallery by 2 burglars who broke through an open window, set off the alarm and left a note stating: thanks for the bad security.

3 months later on, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Government with an offer: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government turned down the offer, however the Norwegian police collaborated with the British Police and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that restored the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum authorities waiting for the thieves to demand ransom cash, reports claimed that both paintings were burned to hide evidence. Ultimately, the Norwegian authorities discovered the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 however the realities on how they were recuperated are not known.


When you look at the some of the most well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly planned operations that include art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most popular 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 activity was thoroughly performed by a well-known con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNxmDR0Lf7eKav0Z4XkSZcWl9N4D2c9qa 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 probably the most sought after painting by art thieves in history.

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