Art Theft: The Most Intriguing and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an ancient and complex criminal offense. When you look at the some of the most well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly prepared operations that involve art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and countless dollars. Here you can read about some of the most well-known cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The very 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 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.

The Most Famous Theft:
The most famous story of art theft includes one of the most well-known paintings worldwide and one of 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. Not long after, Pablo Picasso was jailed and questioned by the police, however was released quickly.

It took about 2 years until the secret was resolved by the Parisian police. It ended up that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by among the museum employees by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who merely carried it concealed under his coat. Nonetheless, Peruggia did not work alone. The crime was carefully performed by a well-known con male, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who intended to make copies and sell them as if they were the original painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy developing copies for the well-known work of art, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias house. After 2 years where Peruggia did not hear from Chaudron, he attempted to make the best out of his taken good. Ultimately, Peruggia was caught by the cops while attempting to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was returned to the Louver in 1913.

The Greatest Theft in the USA:
The greatest art theft in United States took place at the Isabella Stewart https://www.pinterest.com/kurtcriter/ Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars using police uniforms got into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative worth 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, 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. Inning accordance with current rumors, the FBI are investigating 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 most likely the most demanded painting https://foursquare.com/v/kurt-criter/59ae10555161136b77113e4f by art thieves in history. It has actually been stolen twice and was just recently recuperated. In 1994, during the Winter Season Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was taken from an Oslo gallery by 2 thieves who broke through an open window, triggered the alarm and left a note saying: thanks for the bad security.

3 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 Federal government refused the offer, but the Norwegian authorities worked together with the British Authorities and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that revived the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum officials waiting for the burglars to demand ransom money, rumors declared that both paintings were burned to hide proof. 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 popular cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly planned operations that involve art dealerships, 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 popular artists in history as a suspect. The crime was carefully conducted 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 initial painting.

Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the police while trying to offer the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy. The painting by https://medium.com/@kurtcriter Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most looked for after painting by art thieves in history.

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