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



Art theft is an ancient and complex criminal activity. When you take a 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 countless dollars. Here you can read about some of the most popular 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 taken. 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 shown at the National Museum in Gdansk where it was recently moved from the Basilica of the Assumption.

The Most Famous Theft:
The most popular story of art theft involves among the most famous paintings in the world and among the most famous 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 arrested and questioned by the police, however was launched quickly.

It took about two years up until the mystery was solved by the Parisian police. It ended up that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by among the museum employees by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who simply brought it concealed under his coat. Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal activity was thoroughly conducted by a infamous bilker, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who planned to make copies and sell them as if they were the original painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was hectic developing copies for the popular masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias house. After 2 years in which Peruggia did not speak with Chaudron, he attempted to make the best from his stolen good. Ultimately, Peruggia was caught by the authorities while aiming to sell the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was gone back to the Louver in 1913.

The Most significant 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 thieves wearing authorities uniforms burglarized the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective value was estimated at around 300 million dollars. The thieves took two paintings https://soundcloud.com/kurt-criter 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 been found and the case is still unsolved. According to recent rumors, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob together with French art dealers are connected to the criminal offense.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most searched for painting by art burglars in history. It has actually been taken twice and was only recently recovered. In 1994, throughout the Winter Season Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was taken from an Oslo gallery by 2 burglars who broke through an open window, set off 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 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.

While Museum authorities waiting for the thieves to request ransom cash, reports claimed that both paintings were burned to hide evidence. Ultimately, the Norwegian police discovered the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 however the truths on how they were recuperated are not known.


When you look at the some of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly 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 popular 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 notorious 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.

Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the police while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most looked for after painting by art burglars in history.

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