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



Art theft is an ancient and complex crime. When you look at the some of the most well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that involve art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. Here you can check out some of the most famous 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 taken. 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 recently moved from the Basilica of the Presumption.

The Most Famous Theft:
The most popular story of art theft includes one of the most famous paintings in the world and among the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was taken out of the Louver. Soon after, Pablo Picasso was arrested and questioned by the cops, however was released rapidly.

It took about 2 years up until the mystery was fixed by the Parisian authorities. It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by among the museum staff members by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who just carried it concealed under his coat. Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal offense was carefully performed by a well-known bilker, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who intended to make copies and offer them as if they were the original painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy producing copies for the popular masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias apartment or condo. Ultimately, Peruggia was caught by the https://medium.com/@kurtcriter authorities while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy.

The Biggest Theft in the USA:
The most significant art theft in United States took location at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars wearing police uniforms broke 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 found and the case is still unsolved. According to recent rumors, the FBI are investigating 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 demanded painting by art thieves in history. It has actually been taken twice and was just 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, set off the alarm and left a note saying: thanks for the poor security.

3 months later on, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Government with an deal: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Federal government rejected the deal, but the Norwegian authorities worked together with the British Authorities and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that revived the painting to where it belongs.

10 years later on, The Scream was stolen again from the Munch Museum. This time, the burglars utilized a gun and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum authorities awaiting the thieves to demand ransom loan, rumors declared that both paintings were burned to hide evidence. Ultimately, the Norwegian cops discovered the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 but the facts on how they were recuperated are not known yet.


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

Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while attempting to sell the painting to an art dealer 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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