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



Art theft is an ancient and complicated criminal activity. When you look at the some of the most well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see completely prepared operations that include art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. Here you can read about 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 two 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 just recently moved from the Basilica of the Assumption.

One Of The Most Famous Theft:
The most popular story of art theft includes among the most well-known paintings in the world 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. Soon after, Pablo Picasso was arrested and questioned by the authorities, but was released rapidly.

It took about two years up 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 workers by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who merely brought it concealed under his coat. Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal activity was thoroughly carried out by a well-known con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who intended to make copies and offer them as if they were the initial painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy producing copies for the famous masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias house. Ultimately, Peruggia was caught by the authorities while attempting to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy.

The Greatest Theft in the USA:
The greatest 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 burglarized the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative 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, along with a French and a Chinese artifact.

Since yet, none of the paintings have actually been discovered and the case is still unsolved. According to current reports, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob in addition to French art dealerships are linked to the criminal activity.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most looked for after painting by art thieves in history. It has been taken twice and was just recently recuperated. In 1994, throughout the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was stolen from an Oslo gallery by 2 thieves who broke through an open window, triggered the alarm and left a note stating: thanks for the poor security.

Three months later on, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Federal government with an offer: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government turned down the offer, but the Norwegian cops teamed up with the British Police and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that brought back the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum officials waiting for the burglars to request ransom loan, reports claimed that both paintings were burned to hide evidence. Ultimately, the Norwegian authorities discovered the two paintings on August 31, 2006 but the facts 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 planned operations that involve art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most famous story of art theft involves one of the most well-known paintings in the world and one of the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. The criminal activity was carefully performed by a infamous con guy, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who planned to make copies and offer them as if they were the original painting.

Ultimately, Peruggia was caught by the cops while trying to offer the painting to an art dealer from Florence, https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/kurt-criter Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most looked for after painting by art thieves in history.

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