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



Art theft is an complex and ancient 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 dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. Here you can read about a few 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 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 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 popular story of art theft includes among the most popular paintings on the planet and one of the most well-known 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 arrested and questioned by the cops, however was released quickly.

It took about 2 years till the secret was resolved by the Parisian police. It ended up that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by among the museum workers by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who just carried it concealed under his coat. Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal offense was carefully carried out by a notorious con male, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who planned to make copies and offer them as if they were the original painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy creating copies for the popular work of art, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias apartment. After 2 years where Peruggia did not speak with Chaudron, he aimed to make the very best out of his taken excellent. Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the police while aiming to offer the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was gone back to the Louver in 1913.

The Greatest Theft in the Kurt Criter Denver USA:
The greatest art theft in United States took location at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of thieves wearing cops uniforms got into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative worth was estimated 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.

Since yet, none of the paintings have actually been found and the case is still unsolved. According to recent rumors, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob along with French art dealerships are linked to the criminal activity.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most looked for after painting by art thieves in history. It has been taken twice and was just just recently recuperated. In 1994, during 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.

3 months later on, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Federal government with an deal: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government refused the deal, however the Norwegian authorities worked together with the British Police and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that brought back the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum authorities waiting for the burglars to demand ransom cash, rumors claimed that both paintings were burned to hide evidence. Eventually, the Norwegian cops found the two paintings on August 31, 2006 but the realities on how they were recuperated are not known.


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 famous story of art theft includes one of the most famous paintings in the world and one of the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. The crime was thoroughly conducted by a well-known con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who intended to make copies and sell them as if they were the original painting.

Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the authorities while trying 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 thieves in history.

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