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



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

The The Majority Of Famous Theft:
The most famous story of art theft involves one of 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 stolen out of the Louver. Right 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 simply carried it concealed under his coat. The criminal activity was carefully conducted by a well-known con male, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who intended to make copies and sell them as if they were the original painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was hectic developing copies for the popular work of art, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias apartment. After two years where Peruggia did not hear from Chaudron, he aimed to make the best out of his taken good. Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while aiming to sell the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was returned to the Louver in 1913.

The Biggest Theft in the USA:
The biggest art theft in United States took location at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of thieves wearing cops uniforms got into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative value was approximated at around 300 million dollars. The thieves took two 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 current reports, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob along with French art dealerships are connected to the crime.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most searched for painting by art thieves in history. It has been taken twice and was only recently recovered. In 1994, during the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was taken from an Oslo gallery by two thieves who broke through an open window, set off the alarm and left a note stating: thanks for the poor security.

3 months later, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Federal government with an deal: 1 million dollars https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/kurt-criter ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Federal government rejected the deal, but the Norwegian https://medium.com/@kurtcriter authorities collaborated with the British Authorities and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that brought back the painting to where it belongs.

10 years later on, The Scream was taken once again from the Munch Museum. This time, the burglars utilized a weapon and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum authorities awaiting the burglars to demand ransom loan, reports claimed that both paintings were burned to conceal evidence. Eventually, the Norwegian police discovered the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 however the realities on how they were recuperated 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 include art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most well-known 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 thoroughly carried out by a notorious con male, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who intended to make copies and offer them as if they were the original painting.

Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the police while attempting to sell 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 thieves in history.

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