Art Theft: The Many Fascinating and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an ancient and complicated criminal offense. 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 involve art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. Here you can check out a few of the most famous cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The first documented case of art theft was 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 shown at the National Museum in Gdansk where it was recently moved from the Basilica of the Assumption.

The Many Famous Theft:
The most famous story of art theft involves among the most popular paintings worldwide and one of 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 arrested and questioned by the cops, however was released rapidly.

It took about 2 years up until the mystery was solved by the Parisian cops. It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum employees by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who just carried it concealed under his coat. Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal offense was thoroughly conducted by a notorious con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent 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 popular work of art, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias home. Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the authorities while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy.

The Greatest Theft in the USA:
The most significant art theft in United States took place at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of thieves wearing police uniforms got into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective value was approximated at around 300 million dollars. The burglars took two paintings and one print by Rembrandt, and works of Vermeer, Manet, Degas, Govaert Flinck, along with a French and a Chinese artifact.

Since yet, none of the paintings have 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 activity.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most searched for painting by art thieves in history. It has actually been stolen two times and was just just recently recovered. In 1994, throughout the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was taken from an Oslo gallery by two burglars who broke through an open window, triggered 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 https://kurtcriter.wordpress.com/ million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Federal government refused the offer, however the Norwegian police worked together with the British Cops and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that restored the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum authorities waiting for the burglars to demand ransom loan, rumors claimed that both paintings were burned to conceal evidence. Eventually, the Norwegian police discovered the two paintings on August 31, 2006 but the facts on how they were recovered 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 involve art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most famous 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 crime was carefully conducted by a notorious con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who planned to https://soundcloud.com/kurt-criter make copies and offer https://www.whitepages.com/name/Kurt-Criter/Denver-CO them as if they were the original painting.

Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the police while attempting 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 burglars in history.

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