Art Theft: The Most Interesting and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an ancient and complicated criminal offense. When you take a look at the a few of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly prepared 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 documented case of art theft was in 1473, when 2 panels of altarpiece of the Last Judgment by the Dutch painter Hans Memling were stolen. 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 revealed 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 popular story of art theft includes among the most famous paintings in the world 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. Quickly after, Pablo Picasso was apprehended and questioned by the authorities, however was launched rapidly.

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 brought it hidden under his coat. The criminal offense was carefully conducted by a notorious con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who intended to make copies and offer them as if they were the initial painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was hectic producing copies for the well-known masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias home. After 2 years where Peruggia did not speak with Chaudron, he aimed to make the best from his taken good. Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the authorities while aiming to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was returned to the Louver in 1913.

The Biggest Theft in the U.S.A:
The biggest art theft in United States took location at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars using cops uniforms broke into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective worth was estimated at around 300 million dollars. The burglars 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.

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

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most demanded painting by art thieves in history. It has been taken two times and was only recently recovered. In 1994, throughout the Winter Season Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was taken 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 on, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Federal government with an offer: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Federal government turned down the deal, however the Norwegian cops worked together with the British Cops and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that brought back the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum authorities waiting for the burglars to request ransom money, reports declared that both paintings were burned to conceal evidence. Ultimately, the Norwegian cops found the two paintings on August 31, 2006 however the truths 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 planned operations that include art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most well-known story of art theft involves one of the most well-known paintings in the world and one of the most famous artists in history as a suspect. The criminal offense was carefully carried out by a well-known con guy, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who planned to make copies and offer them as if they were the original painting.

Ultimately, Peruggia https://www.whitepages.com/name/Kurt-Criter/Denver-CO was captured by the police while trying to offer the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most looked for after painting by art thieves in history.

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