Art Theft: The Most Intriguing and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an ancient and complex criminal activity. When you look at the some of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly planned operations that involve art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and countless dollars. Here you can check out some of the most famous cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The very first documented case of art theft remained in 1473, when 2 panels of altarpiece of the Last Judgment by the Dutch painter Hans Memling were stolen. While the triptych was being transported 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 shown at the National Museum in Gdansk where it was recently moved from the Basilica of the Assumption.

The Most Famous Theft:
The most famous story of art theft includes among the most well-known paintings on the planet and one of the most famous artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was taken out of the Louver. Not long after, Pablo Picasso was apprehended and questioned by the police, 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 just carried it concealed under his coat. The criminal offense was carefully performed 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 initial painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy developing copies for the well-known work of art, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias home. After two years where Peruggia did not hear from Chaudron, he aimed to make the best from his stolen good. Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the police while attempting to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was gone back to the Louver in 1913.

The Biggest 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 thieves wearing cops uniforms broke into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective value was estimated at around 300 million dollars. The thieves 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. Inning accordance with current reports, the FBI are examining the possibility that the Boston Mob along with French art dealers are connected to the criminal offense.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most demanded painting by art burglars in history. It has actually been taken two times and was just just recently recuperated. In 1994, throughout the Winter Season 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.

3 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 denied the offer, but the Norwegian police collaborated with the British Police 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 officials waiting for the burglars to request ransom money, reports claimed that both paintings were burned to hide proof. Eventually, the Norwegian police found the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 but the facts on how they were recuperated are unknowned yet.


When you look at the some of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see completely 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 famous paintings in the world and one of the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. The crime was thoroughly conducted by a infamous con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who https://www.spokeo.com/Kurt-Criter was sent by an art faker who planned to make copies and sell them as if they were the original painting.

Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the police 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.

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