Art Theft: One Of The Most Intriguing 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 popular cases of art thefts in history, you see completely prepared operations that include art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and countless dollars. Here you can check out a few of the most well-known cases of art theft in the history.

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

The Many Famous Theft:
The most popular story of art theft involves one of the most famous paintings worldwide and one of the most popular 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 apprehended and questioned by the police, but was released 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 hidden under his coat. The criminal activity was carefully conducted by a infamous con guy, 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 busy producing copies for the famous masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias apartment. Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the cops while trying to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy.

The Biggest Theft in the USA:
The greatest art theft in United States occurred at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of thieves using police uniforms got into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative worth was estimated at around 300 million dollars. The thieves 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 actually been discovered and the case is still unsolved. Kurt Criter Denver According to recent rumors, the FBI are examining the possibility that the Boston Mob in addition to French art dealerships are linked to the crime.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most sought after painting by art thieves in history. It has been taken twice and was only just recently recuperated. In 1994, throughout the Winter Season Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was taken from an Oslo gallery by 2 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 Federal government declined the offer, however the Norwegian cops teamed up with the British Cops and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that brought back the painting to where it belongs.

10 years later, The Scream was stolen again from the Munch Museum. This time, the robbers used a weapon and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum authorities waiting for the burglars to demand ransom cash, rumors claimed that both paintings were burned to conceal proof. Eventually, the Norwegian police discovered the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 but the realities on how they were recuperated are not understood.


When you look at the some of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see completely prepared operations that include 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 famous artists in history as a suspect. The crime 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 sell them as if they were the original painting.

Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the cops while attempting 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 thieves in history.

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