Art Theft: The Most Intriguing and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an complicated and ancient criminal offense. When you take a look at the some of the most well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that include art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and countless dollars. Here you can check out some of the most well-known cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The very 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 taken. While the triptych was being transferred 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 revealed at the National Museum in Gdansk where it was just recently moved from the Basilica of the Presumption.

The Most Famous Theft:
The most well-known story of art theft includes among the most popular paintings worldwide and one of the most popular artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was taken from the Louver. Soon after, Pablo Picasso was jailed and questioned by the authorities, but was launched quickly.

It took about 2 years till the secret was solved by the Parisian police. 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. However, Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal offense was thoroughly conducted by a notorious bilker, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who planned to make copies and offer them as if they were the original painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy developing copies for the popular work of art, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias apartment or condo. After 2 years in which Peruggia did not speak with Chaudron, he aimed to make the best out of his stolen great. 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 Biggest Theft in the USA:
The biggest art theft in United States took place at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of thieves using cops uniforms got into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective value was estimated at around 300 million dollars. The burglars took 2 paintings and one print by Rembrandt, and works of Vermeer, Manet, Degas, Kurt Criter Denver Govaert Flinck, in addition to a French and a Chinese artifact.

Since yet, none of the paintings have been found and the case is still unsolved. According to current reports, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob along with French art dealerships are linked to the criminal offense.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most searched for painting by art burglars in history. It has been taken two times and was just recently recuperated. In 1994, during the Winter Season Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was taken from an Oslo gallery by two thieves who broke through an open window, triggered the alarm and left a https://www.spokeo.com/Kurt-Criter 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 turned down the deal, but the Norwegian cops teamed up with the British Police and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that restored the painting to where it belongs.

10 years later, The Scream was taken once again from the Munch Museum. This time, the robbers utilized a weapon and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum officials waiting on the burglars to demand ransom cash, reports declared that both paintings were burned to conceal evidence. Ultimately, the Norwegian police found the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 however the facts 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 thoroughly planned operations that involve 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 crime was carefully conducted by a infamous con male, 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.

Eventually, Peruggia was caught 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 sought after painting by art burglars in history.

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