Art Theft: The Many Fascinating and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an ancient and complicated criminal activity. 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 countless dollars. Here you can check out a few of the most well-known cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The very 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 transferred 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 well-known story of art theft involves one of the most well-known paintings in the world 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. Quickly after, Pablo Picasso was detained and questioned by the police, but was released quickly.

It took about 2 years until the mystery was resolved by the Parisian authorities. It ended up that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum employees by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who just brought it concealed under his coat. Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal activity was carefully conducted by a well-known bilker, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who planned to make copies and offer them as if they were the initial painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy developing copies for the popular masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias home. After two years in which Peruggia did not speak with Chaudron, he attempted to make the https://soundcloud.com/kurt-criter very best out of his taken good. Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was gone back to the Louver in 1913.

The Biggest Theft in the USA:
The greatest art theft in United States happened at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of thieves wearing cops uniforms broke into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective value was estimated at around 300 million dollars. The burglars took 2 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 been found 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 criminal activity.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most sought after painting by art thieves in history. It has been stolen twice 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 burglars 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 Government with an offer: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government denied the offer, but the Norwegian police collaborated with the British Police and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that revived the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum officials waiting for the thieves to demand ransom money, reports claimed that both paintings were burned to hide proof. Ultimately, the Norwegian authorities found the two paintings on August 31, 2006 however the facts 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 prepared operations that involve art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most famous story of art theft includes one of the most well-known paintings in the world and one of the most popular artists in history as a suspect. The criminal offense was thoroughly conducted by a well-known 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.

Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the police while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most looked for after painting by art thieves in history.

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