Art Theft: The Many Fascinating and Famous Cases in History



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

One Of The Most Famous Theft:
The most famous story of art theft includes among the most well-known paintings worldwide 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 out of the Louver. Not long after, Pablo Picasso was jailed and questioned by the authorities, however was released quickly.

It took about 2 years until the secret was solved by the Parisian authorities. It ended up that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by among the museum staff members by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who simply brought it concealed under his coat. Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal offense was carefully conducted by a notorious bilker, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent 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 creating copies for the famous work of art, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias house. After two years where Peruggia did not hear from Chaudron, he attempted to make the very best from his stolen great. Ultimately, Peruggia was caught by the authorities while aiming to sell 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 most significant art theft in United States occurred at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of thieves wearing authorities uniforms burglarized the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative worth was approximated 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 been discovered and the case is still unsolved. According to recent reports, the FBI are investigating the possibility that https://medium.com/@kurtcriter the Boston Mob in addition to French art dealers are connected to the criminal activity.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most sought after painting by art burglars in history. It has actually been taken two times and was just just recently recuperated. In 1994, throughout the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was stolen from an Oslo gallery by two thieves 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 Government with an offer: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government rejected the deal, however the Norwegian authorities worked together with the British Authorities and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that restored the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum officials waiting for the thieves to request ransom loan, reports claimed that both paintings were burned to conceal proof. Eventually, the Norwegian police found the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 but the facts on how they were recovered are not understood.


When you look at the some of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly prepared operations that include art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most famous story of art theft involves one of the most popular paintings in the world and one of the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. The criminal offense was carefully conducted by a well-known con man, 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.

Ultimately, Peruggia was caught by the authorities while trying 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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