Art Theft: The Most Fascinating and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an complex and ancient criminal activity. When you look at the a few of the most famous 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 some of the most well-known 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 carried 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 revealed at the National Museum in Gdansk where it was just recently moved from the Basilica of the Assumption.

The Many Famous Theft:
The most popular 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. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louver. Not long after, Pablo Picasso was apprehended and questioned by the police, however was launched rapidly.

It took about two years up until the mystery was solved by the Parisian authorities. It ended up that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum employees by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who just carried it hidden under his coat. Nonetheless, Peruggia did not work alone. The crime was thoroughly conducted by a infamous bilker, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who intended to make copies and offer them as if they were the initial painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was hectic creating copies for the well-known work of art, Mona Lisa was still hidden Kurt Criter at Peruggias apartment or condo. Ultimately, 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 biggest art theft in United States happened at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars using cops uniforms broke into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective value was estimated 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 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 actually been taken two times and was just just 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 on, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Federal government with an deal: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government refused the deal, but the Norwegian authorities collaborated with the British Police and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that restored the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum authorities waiting for the thieves to demand 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 facts on how they were recuperated are not understood.


When you 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. The most well-known story of art theft includes one of the most well-known paintings in the world and one of the most popular artists in history as a suspect. The criminal offense was thoroughly carried out by a infamous con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who planned to make copies and sell them as if they were the initial painting.

Ultimately, Peruggia was caught by the authorities while attempting 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 thieves in history.

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