Art Theft: The Many Intriguing and Famous Cases in History



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

The First Theft:
The very first recorded case of art theft remained in 1473, when 2 panels of altarpiece of the Last Judgment by the Dutch painter Hans Memling were taken. 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.

The A Lot Of Famous Theft:
The most popular story of art theft includes among the most famous paintings worldwide and among the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen out of the Louver. Soon after, Pablo Picasso was jailed and questioned by the police, however was released rapidly.

It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum staff members by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who just brought it hidden under his coat. The criminal offense was thoroughly carried out by a notorious con male, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who meant 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 famous work of art, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias apartment or condo. Ultimately, Peruggia was caught by the authorities while attempting to sell the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy.

The Most significant Theft in the U.S.A:
The biggest art theft in United States took https://www.pinterest.com/kurtcriter/ location at the Isabella Stewart 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 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.

As of yet, none of the paintings have been found and the case is still unsolved. Inning accordance with recent rumors, the FBI are examining the possibility that the Boston Mob along with French art dealerships are linked to the crime.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most searched for painting by art burglars in history. It has been stolen twice and was only recently recovered. In 1994, during the Winter Season Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was stolen from an Oslo gallery by 2 thieves who broke through an open window, triggered the alarm and left a note saying: thanks for the poor security.

Three months later on, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Government with an offer: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Federal government denied the offer, however the Norwegian authorities teamed up with the British Authorities and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that revived the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum officials waiting for the burglars to request ransom cash, reports claimed that both paintings were burned to hide proof. Eventually, the Norwegian cops found 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 popular cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly planned operations that include art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most popular story of art theft includes one of the most famous paintings in the world and one of the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. The criminal activity was carefully carried out by a well-known con guy, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent 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 authorities while trying to sell the painting to an art dealership 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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