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



Art theft is an complex and ancient criminal activity. When you take a look at the some of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see completely prepared operations that involve art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. Here you can check out about a few of the most well-known cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The very 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 stolen. While the triptych was being carried 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 recently moved from the Basilica of the Assumption.

One Of The Most Famous Theft:
The most popular story of art theft involves among the most well-known paintings worldwide and among the most famous artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was taken out of the Louver. Soon after, Pablo Picasso was jailed and questioned by the cops, but was released 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 merely carried it hidden under his coat. The criminal offense was thoroughly conducted by a infamous con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who meant 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 popular work of art, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias house. After 2 years in which Peruggia did not speak with Chaudron, he aimed to make the very best out of his stolen great. Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the authorities while aiming to sell the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was returned to the Louver in 1913.

The Biggest Theft in the USA:
The biggest art theft in United States occurred at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of thieves using cops uniforms got 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. Inning accordance with current reports, the FBI are examining the possibility that the Boston Mob along with French art dealers are connected to the crime.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most demanded painting by art thieves in history. It has been taken two times and was just recently recovered. In 1994, throughout the Winter Season Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was stolen https://medium.com/@kurtcriter from an Oslo gallery by two thieves who broke through an open window, triggered the alarm and left a note stating: thanks for the bad security.

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

10 years later, The Scream was taken once again from the Munch Museum. This time, the robbers utilized a gun and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum officials waiting on the thieves to request ransom cash, reports declared that both paintings were burned to conceal evidence. Eventually, the Norwegian police discovered the two 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 famous cases of art thefts in history, you see completely prepared operations that include art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most well-known story of art theft includes one of the most popular paintings in the world and one of the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. The criminal activity was carefully carried out by a infamous con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who meant to make copies and sell them as if they were the original painting.

Ultimately, Peruggia was caught https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/kurt-criter by the police https://medium.com/@kurtcriter while attempting to offer 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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