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 well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see completely prepared 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 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 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 A Lot Of Famous Theft:
The most well-known story of art theft involves one of the most popular paintings worldwide and among the most famous artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was taken from the Louver. Not long after, Pablo Picasso was detained and questioned by the authorities, but was launched quickly.

It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum workers by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who simply brought it concealed under his coat. The criminal offense was carefully performed by a notorious con guy, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who meant to make copies and offer them as if they were the original painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was hectic producing copies for the popular masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias house. After 2 years in which Peruggia did not speak with Chaudron, he aimed to make the best from his taken good. Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the police while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was returned to the Louver in 1913.

The Most significant Theft in the U.S.A:
The biggest art theft in United States happened 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 thieves took two paintings and one print by Rembrandt, and works of Vermeer, Manet, Degas, Govaert Flinck, as well as 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 investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob together with French art dealers are connected to the criminal offense.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most sought after painting by art thieves in history. It has been stolen two times and was just just recently recuperated. https://www.quora.com/profile/Kurt-Criter In 1994, throughout the Winter 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 bad security.

Three months later, 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, but the Norwegian police collaborated with the British Cops and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that restored the painting to where it belongs.

10 years later on, The Scream was taken again from the Munch Museum. This time, the robbers utilized a gun and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum officials awaiting the burglars to request ransom loan, reports claimed that both paintings were burned to hide evidence. Eventually, the Norwegian cops discovered the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 however the truths on how they were recuperated 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 involve art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most famous story of art theft includes one of the most popular paintings in the world and one of the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. The criminal activity was carefully performed by a well-known con male, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who meant to make copies and offer them as if they were the original painting.

Eventually, Peruggia 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 most likely the most sought after painting by art thieves in history.

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