Art Theft: The Most Intriguing and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an complicated and ancient criminal offense. When you look at the a few of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that include art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. Here you can check out some of the most popular cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The very first recorded 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 attacked 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 just recently moved from the Basilica of the Presumption.

The Many Famous Theft:
The most well-known story of art theft includes one of the most well-known paintings on the planet and among 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. Right after, Pablo Picasso was arrested and questioned by the police, but was launched rapidly.

It took about 2 years till the mystery was resolved by the Parisian police. It ended up that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by among the museum workers by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who simply carried it hidden under his coat. Nevertheless, Peruggia did not work alone. The crime was thoroughly conducted by a infamous 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 original painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy producing copies for the well-known work of art, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias house. After 2 years in which Peruggia did not hear from Chaudron, he aimed to make the very best out of his taken good. Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the police while trying to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was returned to the Louver in 1913.

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

Since yet, none of the paintings have actually been found and the case is still unsolved. Inning accordance with recent reports, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob in addition to French art dealerships are linked Kurt Criter to the criminal offense.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most sought after painting by art burglars in history. It has been stolen two times and was just just recently recuperated. In 1994, throughout the Winter Season Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was stolen from an Oslo gallery by two burglars who broke through an open window, set off the alarm and left a note stating: thanks for the poor security.

3 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 Government refused the offer, but the Norwegian authorities collaborated with the British Police and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that revived the painting to where it belongs.

10 years later, The Scream was stolen again from the Munch Museum. This time, the robbers used a gun and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum authorities waiting for the thieves to demand ransom money, reports claimed that both paintings were burned to hide evidence. Ultimately, the Norwegian police discovered the two paintings on August 31, 2006 however the truths on how they were recovered are unknowned yet.


When you look at the some of the most well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that include art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most well-known 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 crime was thoroughly performed by a well-known con male, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who meant to make copies and sell them as if they were the initial painting.

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

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