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



Art theft is an ancient and complex criminal activity. When you look at the some of the most well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly prepared operations that include art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and countless dollars. Here you can check out about some of the most famous cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The very first documented 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 transferred 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 just recently moved from the Basilica of the Assumption.

The Most Famous Theft:
The most popular story of art theft involves one of the most popular paintings worldwide 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 out of the Louver. Quickly after, Pablo Picasso was detained and questioned by the police, however was launched rapidly.

It took about 2 years till the mystery was resolved by the Parisian cops. It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by among the museum workers by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who just carried it concealed under his coat. Peruggia did not work alone. The crime was carefully performed by a infamous bilker, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who planned to make copies and offer them as if they were the initial painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy developing copies for the well-known work of art, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias home. After two years in which Peruggia did not hear from Chaudron, he aimed to make the very best out of his taken good. Ultimately, Peruggia was caught by the police while aiming to offer 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 biggest art theft in United States occurred at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars using police uniforms got into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective value was approximated at around 300 million dollars. The burglars 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 been discovered and the case is still unsolved. According to recent reports, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob along with French art dealers are connected to the criminal activity.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most demanded painting by art burglars in history. It has actually been stolen twice and was only recently recuperated. 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 https://foursquare.com/v/kurt-criter/59ae10555161136b77113e4f and left a note saying: thanks for the poor security.

Three months later, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Government with an deal: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Federal government refused the offer, however the Norwegian police teamed up with the British Authorities and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that revived the painting to where it belongs.

10 years later, The Scream was taken again from the Munch Museum. This time, the burglars used a weapon and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum officials waiting on the burglars to request ransom money, rumors declared that both paintings were burned to conceal proof. Eventually, the Norwegian authorities found the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 however the facts on how they were Kurt Criter Denver recovered are not known yet.


When you look at the some of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly planned operations that involve art dealerships, 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 well-known artists in history as a suspect. The criminal offense was thoroughly conducted 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 initial painting.

Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the cops while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most looked for after painting by art burglars in history.

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