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



Art theft is an ancient and complex criminal offense. When you take a look at the a few of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly planned operations that include art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and countless dollars. Here you can check out some of the most popular 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 shown at the National Museum in Gdansk where it was just recently moved from the Basilica of the Presumption.

The The Majority Of Famous Theft:
The most famous story of art theft includes among the most popular paintings worldwide and among the most popular artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louver. Right after, Pablo Picasso was detained and questioned by the authorities, but was launched rapidly.

It took about two years up until the secret was resolved by the Parisian authorities. It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by among the museum employees by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who merely carried it concealed under his coat. Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal activity was thoroughly performed by a infamous bilker, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who planned to make copies and sell them as if they were the initial painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy developing copies for the famous work of art, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias house. Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the police while trying to offer the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy.

The Greatest Theft in the 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 burglars wearing police uniforms broke into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative value was approximated at around 300 million dollars. The thieves took 2 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. Inning accordance with recent rumors, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob together with French art dealers are linked to the criminal activity.

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

3 months later, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Federal government with an deal: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government turned down the deal, however the Norwegian police teamed up with the British Authorities and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that restored the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum officials waiting for the thieves to demand ransom cash, rumors claimed that both paintings were burned to conceal proof. Eventually, the Norwegian police found the two paintings on August 31, 2006 but the facts 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 include art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most famous story of art theft involves one of the most well-known paintings in the world and one of the most famous artists in history as a suspect. The crime was thoroughly carried out by a infamous con guy, 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 captured by the police while attempting to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most looked for after painting by art thieves https://medium.com/@kurtcriter in history.

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