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 a few of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see completely prepared 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 documented case of art theft was in 1473, when 2 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 recently moved from the Basilica of the Presumption.

One Of The Most Famous Theft:
The most popular story of art theft includes among the most popular paintings worldwide 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. Right after, Pablo Picasso was detained and questioned by the cops, however was released quickly.

It took about two years until the secret was fixed by the Parisian police. It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum workers by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who merely brought it hidden under his coat. Nevertheless, Peruggia did not work alone. The crime was carefully carried out by a well-known con man, 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 developing copies for the popular work of art, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias home. After 2 years in which Peruggia did not speak with Chaudron, he aimed to make the very best from his taken great. Ultimately, Peruggia was caught by the police while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was gone back to the Louver in 1913.

The Most significant Theft in the USA:
The greatest art theft in United States took place at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars wearing authorities uniforms burglarized the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective 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, 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. Inning accordance with recent reports, the FBI are examining the possibility that the Boston Mob together with French art dealers are connected to the criminal offense.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most searched for painting by art thieves in history. It has been stolen twice and was only recently recuperated. In 1994, during the Winter Olympics in https://soundcloud.com/kurt-criter Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was stolen from an Oslo gallery by 2 thieves who broke through an open window, set off the alarm and left a note saying: thanks for the poor security.

3 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 declined the offer, however the Norwegian cops collaborated 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 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 thieves to demand ransom money, reports declared that both paintings were burned to hide proof. Ultimately, the Norwegian authorities discovered the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 but the truths on how they were recovered are not known.


When you look at the some of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see completely prepared operations that include art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most well-known story of art theft involves one of the most popular paintings in the world and one of the most popular artists in history as a suspect. The criminal activity was thoroughly carried out by a notorious 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.

Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the cops while trying to offer the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most sought after painting by art burglars in history.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *