Art Theft: The Many Fascinating and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an complex and ancient crime. When you look at the a few of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see completely prepared operations that include art dealerships, 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 recorded case of art theft remained in 1473, when two 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 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.

One Of The Most Famous Theft:
The most popular story of art theft involves one of the most popular paintings in the world and among the most famous 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 apprehended and questioned by the cops, but was launched quickly.

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 simply carried it concealed under his coat. The crime was carefully performed by a well-known con male, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who planned 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 work of art, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias apartment. Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the police while trying to offer the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy.

The Greatest Theft in the U.S.A:
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 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, Govaert Flinck, along with a French and a Chinese artifact.

Since yet, none of the paintings have actually been discovered and the case is still unsolved. Inning accordance with current reports, the FBI are examining the possibility that the Boston Mob along with French art dealers are connected 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 only recently recovered. In 1994, during the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was taken from an Oslo gallery by 2 burglars who broke through an open window, triggered the alarm and left a note saying: thanks for the poor security.

Three months later on, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Federal government with an deal: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Federal government rejected the deal, but the Norwegian https://www.yelp.com/biz/kurt-criter-denver-2 police worked together with the British Authorities and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that brought back the painting to where it belongs.

10 years later on, The Scream was taken again from the Munch Museum. This time, the robbers utilized a gun and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum officials awaiting the burglars to request ransom money, reports claimed that both paintings were burned to hide proof. Eventually, the Norwegian police found the two paintings on August 31, 2006 however the truths on how they were recovered are unknowned yet.


When you look at the some of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly prepared operations that include art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most popular story of art theft includes one of the most famous paintings in the world and one of the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. The crime was carefully conducted by a well-known con guy, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who planned to make copies and offer them as if they were the original painting.

Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while trying to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most sought after painting by art thieves in history.

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