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



Art theft is an complex and ancient criminal offense. When you take a look at the some of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly planned operations that involve art dealerships, 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 remained 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 one of the most popular paintings in the world and one of the most famous artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was taken from the Louver. Right after, Pablo Picasso was arrested and questioned by the authorities, however was released quickly.

It took about two years until the mystery was resolved by the Parisian police. It ended up that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by among the museum workers by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who just brought it concealed under his coat. Peruggia did not work alone. The criminal offense was carefully conducted by a infamous bilker, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out 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 hectic producing copies for the well-known masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still hidden at Peruggias apartment. After 2 years where Peruggia did not hear from Chaudron, he tried to make the finest from his stolen excellent. Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the police while aiming to offer the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was gone back to the Louver in 1913.

The Most significant Theft in the U.S.A:
The greatest art theft in United States happened at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of thieves wearing police uniforms broke into 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.

As of yet, none of the paintings have been found and the case is still unsolved. According to recent rumors, the FBI are examining 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 actually 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 two burglars who broke through an open window, triggered the alarm and left a note stating: thanks for the bad security.

Three months later on, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Federal government with an deal: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Federal government denied the offer, however the Norwegian authorities worked together with the British Cops and the Getty https://medium.com/@kurtcriter Museum to organize a sting operation that restored the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum authorities waiting for the burglars to request ransom loan, rumors claimed that both paintings were burned to hide evidence. Ultimately, the Norwegian police found the two paintings on August 31, 2006 however the facts on how they were recuperated are not known.


When you look at the some of the most popular cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly prepared operations that involve art dealerships, 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 criminal activity was thoroughly carried out by a notorious con male, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who meant to make copies and offer them as if they were the initial painting.

Ultimately, Peruggia was caught by the cops while attempting to offer the painting to an art dealer from Florence, 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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