Art Theft: One Of 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 famous 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 first documented case of art theft was 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 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 popular story of art theft includes among the most well-known paintings on the planet and one of 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 apprehended and questioned by the authorities, but was launched rapidly.

It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum employees by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who merely brought it hidden under his coat. The criminal activity 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 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 aimed to make the very best out of his taken good. Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while aiming to sell the painting to an art dealership 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 took place at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of thieves wearing cops uniforms burglarized the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective value was approximated at around 300 million dollars. The burglars 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.

As of yet, none of the paintings have been found and the case is still unsolved. Inning accordance with current reports, the FBI are examining the possibility that the Boston Mob along with French art dealers are connected https://www.quora.com/profile/Kurt-Criter to the crime.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most demanded painting by art thieves in history. It has been stolen twice and was only recently recovered. In 1994, during the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was stolen from an Oslo gallery by 2 burglars who broke through an open window, set off the alarm and left a note stating: thanks for the poor security.

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

Ten years later on, The Scream was stolen once 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 thieves to request ransom money, rumors declared that both paintings were burned to hide proof. Eventually, the Norwegian police discovered the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 but the truths on how they were recovered are not known yet.


When you look at the some of the most popular 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 famous story of art theft includes one of the most popular paintings in the world and one of the most popular artists in history as a suspect. The criminal offense was carefully conducted by a well-known con male, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who intended to make copies and offer them as if they were the initial painting.

Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the police while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most sought after painting by art thieves in history.

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