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



Art theft is an complicated and ancient criminal offense. When you look at the some of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly planned operations that involve art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and countless dollars. Here you can read about a few of the most famous 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 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 well-known story of art theft includes among the most popular paintings on the planet and among the most famous artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was taken from the Louver. Quickly after, Pablo Picasso was arrested and questioned by the cops, but was launched quickly.

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 merely brought it hidden under his coat. The criminal offense was thoroughly performed by a infamous 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 producing copies for the well-known masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias apartment. After two years in which Peruggia did not hear from Chaudron, he aimed to make the very best from his taken excellent. Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while aiming to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was gone back to the Louver in 1913.

The Biggest Theft in the U.S.A:
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 thieves wearing police uniforms burglarized the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective worth 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, as well as a French and a Chinese artifact.

Since yet, none of the paintings have been discovered and the case is still unsolved. Inning accordance with recent reports, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob in addition to French art dealers are linked to the criminal offense.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most looked for after painting by art thieves in history. It has actually been stolen two times and was just just recently recovered. In 1994, during the Winter Season Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream Kurt Criter was stolen from an Oslo gallery by 2 thieves who broke through an open window, triggered the alarm and left a note saying: thanks for the bad security.

Three months later, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Government with an offer: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Federal government turned down the offer, however the Norwegian police worked together with the British Cops and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that revived the painting to where it belongs.

Ten years later, The Scream was stolen once again from the Munch Museum. This time, the burglars used a gun and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum authorities awaiting the burglars to demand ransom loan, rumors declared that both paintings were burned to conceal evidence. Ultimately, the Norwegian cops found the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 however the realities on how they were recuperated are not understood.


When you look at the some of the most famous 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 famous story of art theft involves one of the most famous paintings in the world and one of the most popular artists in history as a suspect. The criminal offense was carefully performed by a notorious con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent 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 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 in history.

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