Art Theft: The Most Fascinating and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an ancient and complex criminal offense. When you take a look at the a few of the most famous cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly planned operations that involve art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and countless dollars. Here you can check out some of the most popular cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The very first recorded case of art theft remained 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 revealed at the National Museum in Gdansk where it was recently moved from the Basilica of the Assumption.

The Many Famous Theft:
The most well-known story of art theft involves one of the most popular paintings worldwide and among the most famous artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was taken from the Louver. Quickly after, Pablo Picasso was jailed and questioned by the cops, but 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 brought it concealed under his coat. The criminal activity was carefully performed by a notorious con guy, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who meant 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 concealed at Peruggias house. After two years where Peruggia did not speak with Chaudron, he tried to make the very best from his taken great. Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while aiming to sell the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was gone back to the Louver in 1913.

The Most significant Theft in the USA:
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 thieves using cops uniforms burglarized the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative value was estimated at around 300 million dollars. The thieves 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 discovered 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 crime.

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 recently recovered. In 1994, throughout the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was stolen 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.

3 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 Government rejected the offer, however the Norwegian authorities collaborated with the British Authorities and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that brought back the painting to where it belongs.

10 years later, The Scream was taken again from the Munch Museum. This time, the burglars utilized a gun and took another of Munchs painting with them. While Museum authorities waiting on the burglars to demand ransom cash, rumors declared that both paintings were burned to hide proof. Ultimately, the Norwegian authorities discovered the 2 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 popular cases of art thefts in history, you see thoroughly prepared operations that involve art dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions https://www.whitepages.com/name/Kurt-Criter of dollars. The most famous story of art theft involves one of the most popular paintings in the world and one of the most well-known artists in history as a suspect. The criminal offense was thoroughly performed by a well-known con male, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent by an art faker who meant to make copies and offer them as if they were the original painting.

Ultimately, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while attempting to sell the painting to an art dealer from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is most likely the most sought after painting by art thieves in history.

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