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



Art theft is an ancient and complicated 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 check out 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 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 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 popular story of art theft involves one of the most famous paintings on the planet and one of the most popular artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louver. Right after, Pablo Picasso was detained and questioned by the police, however was launched quickly.

It took about two years up until the mystery was resolved by the Parisian authorities. It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum employees by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who simply carried it hidden under his coat. Peruggia did not work alone. The crime was thoroughly performed by a well-known 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 busy producing copies for the well-known masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias house. Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the authorities while trying to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy.

The Greatest Theft in the USA:
The biggest art theft in United States took place at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNxmDR0Lf7eKav0Z4XkSZcWl9N4D2c9qa the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars using police uniforms broke into 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.

As of yet, none of the paintings have actually been found and the case is still unsolved. According to current reports, the FBI are investigating the possibility https://foursquare.com/v/kurt-criter/59ae10555161136b77113e4f that the Boston Mob together with French art dealerships are linked to the criminal offense.

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

3 months later, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Federal government with an offer: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Federal government declined the offer, however the Norwegian cops collaborated with the British Police and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that brought back the painting to where it belongs.

10 years later, The Scream was stolen again from the Munch Museum. This time, the robbers used a weapon and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum authorities awaiting the thieves to demand ransom loan, reports declared that both paintings were burned to conceal evidence. Ultimately, the Norwegian authorities discovered the two paintings on August 31, 2006 however the realities on how they were recovered are not understood yet.


When you look at the some of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that involve art dealers, 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 popular artists in history as a suspect. The crime was thoroughly conducted by a notorious con guy, 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 captured 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 sought after painting by art thieves in history.

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