Art Theft: The Most Interesting and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an ancient and complex criminal offense. When you look at the a few 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 millions of dollars. Here you can check out about a few of the most popular 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 Assumption.

One Of The Most Famous Theft:
The most popular story of art theft includes one of the most popular paintings in the world and among the most popular artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was taken from the Louver. Quickly after, Pablo Picasso was arrested and questioned by the police, but was launched rapidly.

It took about 2 years till the mystery was resolved by the Parisian police. It ended up that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by among the museum workers by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who merely brought it concealed under his coat. Nonetheless, Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal offense was carefully performed by a infamous bilker, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent 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 producing copies for the well-known work of art, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias apartment. Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while trying to offer https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/kurt-criter the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy.

The Most significant Theft in the USA:
The biggest art theft in United States happened 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 cumulative value was estimated at around 300 million dollars. The thieves took two paintings and one print by Rembrandt, and works of Vermeer, Manet, Degas, Govaert Flinck, along with a French and a Chinese artifact.

As of yet, none of the paintings have actually been found and the case is still unsolved. Inning accordance with recent rumors, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob in addition to French art dealers are connected to the criminal activity.

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

Three months later on, 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 denied the offer, however the Norwegian authorities collaborated with the British Cops and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that brought back 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 awaiting the thieves to demand ransom money, reports declared that both paintings were burned to conceal proof. Ultimately, the Norwegian authorities found the two paintings on August 31, 2006 but the facts on how they were recuperated are not understood yet.


When you look at the some of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that include art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most well-known story of art theft includes one of the most well-known paintings in the world and one of the most popular artists in history as a suspect. The crime was thoroughly performed by a well-known con man, 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.

Ultimately, Peruggia was caught by the authorities while attempting to sell 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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