Art Theft: The A Lot Of 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 well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that include art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. Here you can check out about a few of the most popular cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The 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 taken. While the triptych was being transported 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 shown at the National Museum in Gdansk where it was recently moved from the Basilica of the Assumption.

The Many Famous Theft:
The most famous story of art theft includes one of the most popular paintings in the world 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. Right after, Pablo Picasso was apprehended and questioned by the cops, however was released quickly.

It took about 2 years until the mystery was resolved by the Parisian cops. 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 brought it hidden under his coat. Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal activity was carefully conducted by a notorious 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 original painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy creating copies for the popular masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias apartment or condo. Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the police while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy.

The Biggest Theft in the USA:
The greatest art theft in United States took place at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars using authorities uniforms burglarized the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective value was estimated at around 300 million dollars. The burglars took two paintings and one print by Rembrandt, and works of Vermeer, Manet, Degas, Govaert Flinck, in addition to a French and a Chinese artifact.

Since yet, none of the paintings have actually been found and the case is still unsolved. According to current reports, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob together with 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 stolen twice and was only recently recovered. In 1994, during the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was stolen from an Oslo gallery by 2 burglars who broke through an open window, triggered the alarm and left a note saying: thanks for the poor security.

Three months later, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Government with an deal: 1 million dollars ransom for Kurt Criter Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Federal government rejected the deal, but the Norwegian police collaborated with the British Cops and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that restored the painting to where it belongs.

Ten years later, The Scream was taken again from the Munch Museum. This time, the robbers utilized a weapon and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum officials waiting for the burglars to demand ransom money, reports claimed that both paintings were burned to conceal proof. Ultimately, the Norwegian police found the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 but the realities on how they were recovered are not understood.


When you look at the some of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly prepared operations that involve art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most well-known 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 criminal activity was carefully performed 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 initial painting.

Ultimately, Peruggia was caught by the cops while attempting to offer 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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