Art Theft: One Of The Most Fascinating and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an complex and ancient criminal offense. When you look at the a few of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly planned operations that involve art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. Here you can check out 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 2 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 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 recently moved from the Basilica of the Presumption.

One Of The Most Famous Theft:
The most popular story of art theft involves one of the most popular paintings in the world and one of the most popular artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louver. Soon after, Pablo Picasso was detained and questioned by the police, but was launched quickly.

It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum employees by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who merely carried it concealed under his coat. The crime was carefully performed by a well-known con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who meant to make copies and offer them as if they were the original painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was hectic developing copies for the popular masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias apartment or condo. After 2 years in which Peruggia did not speak with Chaudron, he attempted to make the best from his stolen great. Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the cops while aiming to sell the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was returned to the Louver in 1913.

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 using authorities uniforms broke into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective worth 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, in addition to a French and a Chinese artifact.

As of yet, none of the paintings have actually been discovered 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 dealers are connected to the criminal offense.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most demanded painting by art thieves in history. It has actually been taken two times and was only just recently recovered. In 1994, during the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream https://medium.com/@kurtcriter was stolen from an Oslo gallery by two thieves who broke through an open window, triggered the alarm and left a note stating: thanks for the bad security.

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

10 years later, The Scream was stolen once again from the Munch Museum. This time, the robbers used a weapon and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum authorities waiting on the thieves to demand ransom cash, rumors declared that both paintings were burned to hide evidence. Eventually, the Norwegian cops discovered the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 but the facts 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 completely planned operations that include art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most popular story of art theft involves one of the most popular paintings in the world and one of the most famous artists in history as a suspect. The criminal activity was carefully performed by a notorious con guy, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who meant to make copies and offer them as if they were the original painting.

Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the police while trying 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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