Art Theft: The Many Fascinating and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an ancient and complicated criminal activity. When you take a look at the some of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that include art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and countless dollars. Here you can check out about some of the most well-known cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The very first recorded case of art theft was in 1473, when two panels of altarpiece of the Last Judgment by the Dutch painter Hans Memling were stolen. 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 revealed at the National Museum in Gdansk where it was just recently moved from the Basilica of the Presumption.

The Most Famous Theft:
The most famous story of art theft includes among the most popular 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. Quickly after, Pablo Picasso was arrested and questioned by the authorities, however was released quickly.

It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum employees by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who just carried it hidden under his coat. The criminal offense was carefully conducted by a notorious 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 busy creating copies for the well-known masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias home. After two years in which Peruggia did not hear from Chaudron, he attempted to make the finest out of his stolen good. Ultimately, Peruggia was caught by the police while attempting to sell 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 USA:
The biggest art theft in United States occurred at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of thieves wearing cops uniforms burglarized the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective worth https://foursquare.com/v/kurt-criter/59ae10555161136b77113e4f was approximated 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 been found and the case is still unsolved. According to current reports, the FBI are examining the possibility that the Boston Mob together with French art dealers are connected to the criminal activity.

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 just just recently recuperated. In 1994, throughout the Winter Season Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was stolen from an Oslo gallery by two burglars who broke through an open window, set off the alarm and left a note stating: thanks for the poor security.

Three months later on, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Government with an offer: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Federal government turned down the offer, however the Norwegian cops collaborated with the British Authorities https://www.yelp.com/biz/kurt-criter-denver-2 and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that restored the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum authorities waiting for the burglars to demand ransom cash, rumors declared that both paintings were burned to conceal evidence. Eventually, the Norwegian police found the two paintings on August 31, 2006 however the truths on how they were recovered are not understood.


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 includes one of the most famous paintings in the world and one of the most popular artists in history as a suspect. The criminal activity was thoroughly performed by a well-known 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.

Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the authorities 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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