Art Theft: The Many Interesting and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an ancient and complicated criminal activity. When you take a 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 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 two panels of altarpiece of the Last Judgment by the Dutch painter Hans Memling were stolen. While the triptych was being transported 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.

One Of The Most Famous Theft:
The most famous story of art theft includes among the most well-known paintings on the planet and among the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was taken from the Louver. Quickly after, Pablo Picasso was apprehended and questioned by the cops, however was released quickly.

It took about 2 years up until the mystery was solved by the Parisian police. It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by among the museum employees by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who simply brought it hidden under his coat. Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal activity was carefully performed by a notorious bilker, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who planned 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 well-known masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias apartment or condo. Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the cops while attempting to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy.

The Most significant Theft in the USA:
The most significant art theft in United States happened at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars using authorities uniforms broke into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective value was estimated at around 300 million dollars. The thieves took 2 paintings and one print by Rembrandt, and works of Vermeer, Manet, Degas, Govaert Flinck, as well as a French and a Chinese artifact.

Since yet, none of the paintings have actually been discovered and the case is still unsolved. According to current rumors, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob together with French art dealers are linked to the criminal activity.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most searched for painting by art burglars in history. It has actually been taken twice and was just just recently recuperated. 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, set off the alarm and left a note stating: thanks for the poor security.

Three months later on, https://www.yelp.com/biz/kurt-criter-denver-2 the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Federal government with an offer: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government denied the offer, however the Norwegian police worked together with the British Police and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that revived the painting to where it belongs.

Ten years later, The Scream was taken again from the Munch Museum. This time, the burglars used a gun and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum authorities waiting on the burglars to demand ransom loan, rumors declared that both paintings were burned to conceal evidence. Eventually, the Norwegian authorities found the two paintings on August 31, 2006 but the realities 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 completely prepared operations that include art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most well-known story of art theft involves one of the most famous paintings in the world and one of the most famous artists in history as a suspect. The criminal offense was thoroughly carried out by a notorious con male, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who intended to make copies and sell them as if they were the initial painting.

Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the police while attempting to sell 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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