Art Theft: The Most Interesting and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an ancient and complicated criminal offense. When you take a 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 countless dollars. Here you can check out some of the most popular cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The first recorded 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 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 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 worldwide and among the most popular artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was taken out of the Louver. Right after, Pablo Picasso was detained and questioned by the police, but was released quickly.

It took about two years until the secret was fixed by the Parisian authorities. It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by among the museum employees by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who simply brought it hidden under his coat. However, Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal activity was thoroughly performed by a infamous con male, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out 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 creating copies for the popular masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias apartment or condo. After 2 years in which Peruggia did not hear from Chaudron, he aimed to make the best out of his stolen good. Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the cops while attempting to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was returned to the Louver in 1913.

The Biggest Theft in the USA:
The greatest art theft in United States happened at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars wearing authorities uniforms got into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative value was approximated at around 300 million dollars. The thieves took two 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 actually been found and the case is still unsolved. Inning accordance with current rumors, the FBI are examining the possibility that the Boston Mob together with French art dealerships are linked to the crime.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most looked for after painting by art burglars in history. It has actually been taken two times and was just just recently recuperated. In 1994, throughout the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was stolen from an Oslo gallery by two burglars who broke through an open window, set off the alarm and left a note stating: thanks for the bad security.

Three months later on, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Government with an deal: 1 million dollars ransom http://kurtcriter.brandyourself.com/Links for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government denied the offer, but the Norwegian police worked together with the British Authorities and the Getty https://www.quora.com/profile/Kurt-Criter Museum to organize a sting operation that restored the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum authorities waiting for the thieves to demand ransom money, rumors declared that both paintings were burned to hide proof. Ultimately, the Norwegian cops found the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 but the truths on how they were recovered are not understood.


When you look at the some of the most well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly prepared 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 famous paintings in the world and one of the most popular artists in history as a suspect. The crime 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.

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

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