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



Art theft is an complex and ancient crime. When you take a look at the a few of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see completely prepared operations that include art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and countless dollars. Here you can check out 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 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 shown at the National Museum in Gdansk where it was recently moved from the Basilica of the Presumption.

One Of The Most Famous Theft:
The most famous story of art theft involves one of the most popular paintings in the world and among the most well-known 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 authorities, but was released quickly.

It took about two years until the secret was fixed by the Parisian cops. 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 thoroughly carried out by a notorious bilker, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who planned 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 work of art, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias apartment. After two years where Peruggia did not speak with Chaudron, he attempted to make the very best out of his stolen good. Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was returned to the Louver in 1913.

The Most significant Theft in the U.S.A:
The biggest art theft in United States occurred at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars wearing police uniforms burglarized the museum and took thirteen paintings whose collective value was estimated 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 found and the case is still unsolved. According to recent reports, the FBI are examining the possibility that the Boston Mob along with French art dealers are connected to the criminal offense.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most demanded painting by art burglars in history. It has actually been stolen twice and was only recently recovered. In 1994, throughout the Winter Season Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was taken from an Oslo gallery by 2 burglars who broke through an open window, triggered the alarm and left a note stating: thanks for the bad security.

Three months later, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Government with an offer: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government refused the deal, however the Norwegian cops teamed up with the British Cops and the Getty Museum to arrange a sting operation that revived the painting to where it belongs.

10 years later, The Scream was stolen once again from the Munch Museum. This time, the burglars utilized https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/kurt-criter a gun and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum officials waiting for the burglars to request ransom money, rumors declared that both paintings were burned to hide evidence. Ultimately, the Norwegian authorities discovered the two paintings on August 31, 2006 however the truths on how they were recovered are not understood yet.


When you look at the some of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that involve art dealerships, 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 intended to make copies and offer them as if they were the original painting.

Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the police while trying to sell the painting to an art dealership 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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