Art Theft: One Of The Most Intriguing and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an ancient and complicated 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 famous 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 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 shown at the National Museum in Gdansk where it was recently moved from the Basilica of the Presumption.

The Most Famous Theft:
The most well-known story of art theft includes one of the most well-known paintings worldwide and one of 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. Right after, Pablo Picasso was arrested and questioned by the police, but was launched quickly.

It took about 2 years until the secret was solved by the Parisian police. It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum employees by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who simply brought it concealed under his coat. However, Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal activity was thoroughly conducted by a infamous con guy, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who planned to make copies and sell them as if they were the initial painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy producing copies for the popular work of art, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias apartment. After two years where Peruggia did not hear from Chaudron, he attempted to make the very best out of his taken excellent. Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the authorities while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was returned to the Louver in 1913.

The Greatest Theft in the U.S.A:
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 burglars using cops uniforms got into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative 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 reports, the FBI are examining the possibility that the Boston Mob in addition to French art dealerships are connected to the crime.

The Scream:
The painting by https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/kurt-criter Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most demanded painting by art thieves in history. It has actually been taken two times and was only just recently recovered. In 1994, throughout the Winter Season Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was stolen from an Oslo gallery by two burglars who broke through an open window, triggered 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 deal: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government refused the deal, however the Norwegian authorities collaborated with the British Cops and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that revived the painting to where it belongs.

10 years later, The Scream was stolen again from the Munch Museum. This time, the robbers utilized a weapon and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum authorities awaiting the thieves to request ransom loan, rumors claimed that both paintings were burned to hide proof. Ultimately, the Norwegian authorities 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 famous cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that involve art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most well-known story of art theft includes one of the most famous paintings in the world and one of the most popular artists in history as a suspect. The criminal offense was thoroughly carried out by a infamous con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who planned to make copies and sell them as if they were the initial painting.

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

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