Art Theft: The Most Intriguing and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an ancient and complex criminal offense. 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 countless dollars. Here you can check out 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.

The Many Famous Theft:
The most well-known story of art theft involves one of the most famous 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 out of the Louver. Quickly after, Pablo Picasso was arrested and questioned by the police, however was released rapidly.

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 simply carried it concealed under his coat. The crime was carefully carried out by a well-known con guy, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who planned to make copies and offer them as if they were the initial painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy creating copies for the famous masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias apartment. After two years where Peruggia did not speak with Chaudron, he attempted to make the finest from his stolen good. Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the cops while aiming to offer the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was returned to the Louver in 1913.

The Biggest Theft in the U.S.A:
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 using authorities uniforms broke into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative value 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, along with a French and a Chinese artifact.

As of yet, none of the paintings have been discovered and the case is still unsolved. According to current rumors, the FBI are examining the possibility that the Boston Mob together with French art dealers are linked to the crime.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, https://www.quora.com/profile/Kurt-Criter is most likely the most searched for painting by art burglars in history. It has been stolen twice and was just recently recuperated. In 1994, during the Winter Season Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was stolen from an Oslo gallery by two burglars who broke through an open window, set off the alarm and left a note stating: thanks for the bad security.

Three 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 turned down the offer, however the Norwegian cops https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNxmDR0Lf7eKav0Z4XkSZcWl9N4D2c9qa worked together with the British Cops and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that restored the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum authorities waiting for the burglars to demand ransom loan, reports declared that both paintings were burned to hide proof. Ultimately, the Norwegian police discovered the two paintings on August 31, 2006 but the truths on how they were recovered are not known.


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. The most famous story of art theft involves one of the most famous paintings in the world and one of the most famous artists in history as a suspect. The crime was carefully performed by a infamous con male, Eduardo de https://medium.com/@kurtcriter Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who meant to make copies and sell them as if they were the original painting.

Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while trying to sell 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 burglars in history.

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