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



Art theft is an ancient and complex criminal offense. When you take a look at the some of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly planned operations that involve art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. Here you can check out 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 2 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 just recently moved from the Basilica of the Assumption.

The Most Famous Theft:
The most famous story of art theft involves one of the most well-known 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 stolen out of the Louver. Not long after, Pablo Picasso was jailed and questioned by the authorities, but was released rapidly.

It took about two years up until the secret was fixed by the Parisian cops. It ended up that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by among the museum staff members by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who just carried it concealed under his coat. Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal offense was carefully carried out by a notorious 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 initial painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was busy developing copies for the well-known work of art, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias home. After 2 years in which Peruggia did not hear from Chaudron, he attempted to make the best from his stolen great. Ultimately, Peruggia was caught by the authorities while attempting to offer 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 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 authorities uniforms got into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative worth was approximated at around 300 million dollars. The burglars 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.

As of yet, none of the paintings have been found and the case is still unsolved. According to recent reports, the FBI are examining the possibility that the Boston Mob together with French art dealers are connected to the criminal offense.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most searched for painting by art burglars in history. It has been stolen two times and was just just recently recovered. In 1994, during the Winter 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 poor security.

Three months later, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Federal government with an deal: 1 million dollars https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLNxmDR0Lf7eKav0Z4XkSZcWl9N4D2c9qa ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government refused the deal, however the Norwegian authorities collaborated with the British Cops and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that brought back the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum officials waiting for the thieves to demand ransom loan, reports claimed that both paintings were burned to hide proof. Eventually, the Norwegian police discovered the two paintings on August 31, 2006 but the truths on how they were recuperated are not known.


When you look at the some of the most well-known cases of art thefts in history, you see completely planned operations that include art dealerships, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. The most popular story of art theft includes 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 performed by a infamous con male, 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 captured by the police while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most looked for after painting by art burglars in history.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *