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



Art theft is an ancient and complex crime. When you take a look at the a few of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly prepared operations that involve art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and countless dollars. Here you can check out about a few of the most famous cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The first documented 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 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 well-known story of art theft includes one of the most well-known paintings worldwide 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 detained and questioned by the authorities, but was launched rapidly.

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 thoroughly performed by a infamous con man, 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 hectic producing copies for the famous masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias apartment. Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the police while trying to offer the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy.

The Most significant Theft in the U.S.A:
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 wearing police uniforms broke into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative worth 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.

Since yet, none of the paintings have been discovered and the case is still unsolved. According to recent reports, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob in addition to French art dealerships are connected to the criminal activity.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The https://soundcloud.com/kurt-criter Scream, is probably the most searched for painting by art burglars in history. It has actually been taken two times and was only recently recuperated. In 1994, throughout 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 saying: 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 rejected the deal, but the Norwegian police collaborated with the British Authorities and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that revived the painting to where it belongs.

10 years later on, The Scream was stolen again from the Munch Museum. This time, the burglars utilized a gun and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum authorities awaiting the burglars to demand ransom loan, reports declared that both paintings were burned to hide proof. Ultimately, the Norwegian authorities found the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 but the facts on how they were recuperated 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 involve art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most popular story of art theft involves one of the most popular paintings in the world and one of the most famous artists in history as a suspect. The criminal offense was thoroughly carried out by a notorious con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who meant to make copies and sell them as if they were the initial painting.

Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while attempting to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most sought after painting by art thieves in history.

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