Art Theft: The Many Fascinating and Famous Cases in History



Art theft is an ancient and complex crime. 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 dealers, art fakers, mobsters, ransoms, and millions of dollars. Here you can check out some of the most famous cases of art theft in the history.

The First Theft:
The very 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 taken. While the triptych was being carried by ship from the Netherlands to Florence, the ship was assaulted 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 Presumption.

One Of The Most Famous Theft:
The most popular story of art theft involves among the most famous paintings worldwide and among the most popular artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louver. Right after, Pablo Picasso was arrested and questioned by the cops, however was released rapidly.

It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by one of the museum workers by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who simply brought it concealed under his coat. The criminal activity was thoroughly conducted by a well-known con guy, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out 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 hectic producing copies for the popular work of art, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias home. Ultimately, Peruggia was caught by the police while trying to offer the painting to https://medium.com/@kurtcriter an art dealer from Florence, Italy.

The Biggest Theft in the U.S.A:
The biggest art theft in United States happened at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars wearing authorities uniforms burglarized the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative worth was estimated at around 300 million dollars. The thieves took two paintings and one print by Rembrandt, and works of Vermeer, Manet, Degas, Govaert Flinck, along with a French and a Chinese artifact.

As of yet, none of the paintings have been discovered and the case is still unsolved. Inning accordance with current reports, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob along with French art dealers are connected to the criminal activity.

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 taken two times and was only just recently recuperated. In 1994, throughout the Winter Season Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, The Scream was taken from an Oslo gallery by 2 thieves who broke through an open window, triggered the alarm and left a note saying: thanks for the bad security.

3 months later, the holders of the painting approached the Norwegian Government with an deal: 1 million dollars ransom for Edvard Munchs The Scream. The Government denied the deal, however the Norwegian cops worked together with the British Authorities and the Getty Museum to organize a sting operation that brought back the painting to where it belongs.

While Museum officials waiting for the burglars to request ransom loan, reports claimed that both paintings were burned to conceal evidence. Eventually, the Norwegian authorities discovered the two paintings on August 31, 2006 however the realities on how they were recovered are not known.


When you look at the some of the most popular 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 well-known 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 crime was carefully carried out by a notorious con guy, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who meant to https://www.quora.com/profile/Kurt-Criter make copies and offer them as if they were the original painting.

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

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