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



Art theft is an complex and ancient criminal offense. When you look at the a few of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that involve art dealerships, 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 2 panels of altarpiece of the Last Judgment by the Dutch painter Hans Memling were taken. 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 Presumption.

The Many Famous Theft:
The most well-known story of art theft includes one of the most famous paintings on the planet and among 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. Right after, Pablo Picasso was detained and questioned by the police, however was released rapidly.

It took about 2 years until the mystery was fixed by the Parisian authorities. It ended up that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum employees by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who merely brought it hidden under his coat. Peruggia did not work alone. The crime was carefully conducted by a notorious con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out 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 creating copies for the well-known work of art, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias home. After two years in which Peruggia did not speak with Chaudron, he tried to make the best from his taken good. Ultimately, Peruggia was captured 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 Greatest Theft in the U.S.A:
The biggest art theft in United States took place at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars using 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, in addition to a French and a Chinese artifact.

Since yet, none of the paintings have actually been found and the case is still unsolved. According to recent reports, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob along with French art dealerships are connected to the criminal offense.

The Scream:
The https://soundcloud.com/kurt-criter painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely 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 stolen from an Oslo gallery by 2 burglars who broke through an open window, set off the alarm and left a note stating: thanks for the bad 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 Government rejected the deal, but the Norwegian police teamed up with the British Authorities 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 request ransom money, rumors claimed that both paintings were burned to hide proof. Ultimately, the Norwegian cops discovered the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 but the realities on how they were recovered are unknowned yet.


When you look at the some of the most well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see completely prepared operations that involve art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most popular story of art theft involves one of the most famous paintings in the world and one of the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. The criminal activity was carefully carried out by a infamous con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who meant to make copies and offer them as if they were the initial painting.

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

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