Art Theft: One Of The Most Interesting 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 well-known 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 read about a few of the most popular cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The first documented case of art theft remained in 1473, when two panels of altarpiece of the Last Judgment by the Dutch painter Hans Memling were taken. While the triptych was being transferred 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 recently moved from the Basilica of the Assumption.

One Of The Most Famous Theft:
The most well-known story of art theft involves one of the most famous paintings worldwide and one of the most well-known 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 arrested and questioned by the authorities, however was released rapidly.

It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum employees by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who simply carried it concealed under his coat. The criminal activity was carefully conducted by a infamous 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 original painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy producing copies for the popular work of art, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias apartment. Ultimately, Peruggia was caught by the authorities while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy.

The Most significant Theft in the U.S.A:
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 burglars wearing authorities uniforms broke into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective worth was approximated at around 300 million dollars. The burglars 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 discovered and the case is still unsolved. According to recent reports, the FBI are examining the possibility that the Boston Mob along with French art dealerships are connected to the criminal activity.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most looked for after painting by art burglars in history. It has been stolen two times and was just recently recovered. In 1994, during the Winter Season Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was taken from an Oslo gallery by 2 thieves who broke through an open window, set off the alarm and left a note stating: thanks for the bad security.

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

While Museum authorities waiting for the burglars to request ransom money, reports declared that both paintings were burned to conceal evidence. Ultimately, the Norwegian cops discovered 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 popular cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that include 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 popular artists in history as a suspect. The crime was thoroughly carried out by a notorious con guy, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out 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 cops while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealership 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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