Art Theft: The Many Fascinating and Famous Cases in History



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

The First Theft:
The 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 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 well-known story of art theft involves among the most popular paintings worldwide and among the most popular artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen out of the Louver. Not long after, Pablo Picasso was apprehended and questioned by the authorities, however was launched quickly.

It took about 2 years till the secret was fixed by the Parisian police. It ended up that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by among the museum staff members by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who simply brought it concealed under his coat. Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal activity was thoroughly performed by a infamous con male, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who meant to make copies and sell them as if they were the original painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was hectic producing copies for the well-known masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias apartment. Ultimately, Peruggia was caught by the cops while trying 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 occurred at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of thieves wearing authorities uniforms got into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative worth 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.

As of yet, none of the paintings have actually been discovered and the case is still unsolved. According to current rumors, the FBI are examining the possibility that the Boston Mob along with French art dealers are connected to the criminal activity.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most demanded painting by art burglars in history. It has been stolen twice and was only 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, set off the alarm and left a note stating: thanks for the bad security.

Three months later, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Government with an offer: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government refused the deal, but the Norwegian police teamed up with the British Authorities and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that revived 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 https://www.whitepages.com/name/Kurt-Criter another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum authorities waiting for the burglars to request ransom loan, rumors claimed that both paintings were burned to hide evidence. Ultimately, the Norwegian police found the two paintings on August 31, 2006 however 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 completely planned operations that involve art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most popular story of art theft includes one of the most popular paintings in the world and one of the most famous artists in history as a suspect. The criminal offense was thoroughly performed by a notorious 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.

Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the police while trying to sell the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most looked for after painting by art burglars in history.

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