Art Theft: The Many Interesting and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an complicated and ancient criminal activity. When you look at the some of the most well-known 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 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 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.

The Many Famous Theft:
The most well-known story of art theft involves one of the most famous paintings in the world 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. Quickly after, Pablo Picasso was jailed and questioned by the cops, however was released quickly.

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 carried it concealed under his coat. The criminal offense was carefully performed by a notorious con male, 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 developing copies for the famous work of art, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias home. After two years where Peruggia did not hear from Chaudron, he attempted to make the best from his taken great. Ultimately, Peruggia was caught by the cops 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 happened at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars wearing police uniforms burglarized the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative worth 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, in addition to a French and a Chinese artifact.

Since yet, none of the paintings have been discovered and the case is still unsolved. According to current reports, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob along https://www.spokeo.com/Kurt-Criter with French art dealerships are connected to the criminal activity.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most searched for painting by art thieves in history. It has actually been taken twice and was just recently recuperated. In 1994, throughout the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was taken 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 bad security.

3 months later on, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Federal government with an deal: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government declined the offer, but the Norwegian cops teamed up with the British Police and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that revived the painting to where it belongs.

10 years later on, The Scream was taken again from the Munch Museum. This time, the burglars used a weapon and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum authorities waiting for the burglars to demand ransom money, rumors claimed that both paintings were burned to conceal proof. Eventually, the Norwegian police found the two paintings on August 31, 2006 but the facts on how they were recovered are unknowned yet.


When you look at the some of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly prepared operations that include art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most famous story of art theft includes one of the most well-known paintings in the world and one of the most famous artists in history as a suspect. 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 sell them as if they were the initial painting.

Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the police while attempting to sell the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most looked for after painting by art burglars in history.

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