Art Theft: The Many Fascinating and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an complex and ancient crime. When you look at the a few of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that include art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. Here you can check out a few of the most famous cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The very first recorded 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 just recently moved from the Basilica of the Presumption.

One Of The Most Famous Theft:
The most well-known story of art theft involves among the most famous 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 cops, but was released rapidly.

It took about 2 years until the secret was fixed by the Parisian authorities. It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by among the museum workers by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who simply brought it hidden under his coat. However, Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal offense was carefully conducted by a well-known con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out 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 hectic creating copies for the well-known work of art, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias home. After 2 years where Peruggia did not speak with Chaudron, he attempted to make the finest out of his stolen good. Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the police while attempting 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 greatest art theft in United States took place 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 collective 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.

Since yet, none of the paintings have actually been found and the case is still unsolved. According to recent rumors, the FBI https://www.yelp.com/biz/kurt-criter-denver-2 are examining the possibility that the Boston Mob along with French art dealers are linked to the criminal offense.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most looked for after painting by art burglars in history. It has actually been stolen twice and was just recently recovered. In 1994, throughout the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was taken from an Oslo gallery by 2 thieves who broke through an open window, triggered the alarm and left a note saying: thanks for the poor security.

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

10 years later, The Scream was stolen once again from the Munch Museum. This time, the burglars used a gun and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum authorities waiting for the burglars to request ransom cash, rumors declared that both paintings were burned to hide proof. Eventually, the Norwegian authorities discovered the two paintings on August 31, 2006 but the realities on how they were recovered are not known yet.


When you look at the some of the most well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that involve art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most popular story of art theft involves one of the most popular paintings in the world and one of the most famous artists in history as a suspect. https://medium.com/@kurtcriter The criminal offense was carefully conducted by a notorious con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who planned to make copies and offer them as if they were the original painting.

Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the police while attempting to offer 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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