Art Theft: The Most Fascinating and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an ancient and complicated criminal activity. When you take a look at the some of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly prepared operations that involve art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and countless 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 remained 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 assaulted 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 Assumption.

The Most Famous Theft:
The most well-known story of art theft includes among the most popular paintings on the planet and among the most popular 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 jailed and questioned by the cops, however was launched 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 just carried it concealed under his coat. The crime was thoroughly conducted by a infamous con guy, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who intended to make copies and sell them as if they were the initial painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was hectic developing copies for the well-known masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias home. After two years where Peruggia did not speak with Chaudron, he tried to make the finest out of his stolen great. Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while aiming 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 occurred at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars wearing police 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, in addition to a French and a Chinese artifact.

As of yet, none of the paintings have actually been discovered and the case is still unsolved. Inning accordance with current reports, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob together with French art dealerships are linked to the criminal activity.

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

Three months later, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Government with an offer: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government rejected the deal, however the Norwegian authorities teamed up with the British Authorities and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that restored the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum officials waiting for the burglars to request ransom money, reports claimed that both paintings were burned to hide evidence. Ultimately, the Norwegian police found the two paintings on August 31, 2006 however the truths on how they were recovered are not known.


When you look at the some of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see completely prepared operations that involve art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most well-known story of art theft involves one of the most popular 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 male, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who intended to make copies and sell them as if they were the initial painting.

Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the police 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 sought after painting by art burglars in history.

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