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



Art theft is an complicated and ancient criminal offense. 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 a few of the most well-known 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 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 revealed at the National Museum in Gdansk where it was just recently moved from the Basilica of the Presumption.

The A Lot Of Famous Theft:
The most well-known story of art theft involves one of the most famous paintings in the world and among the most popular artists in history as a suspect. In the night of August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was taken out of the Louver. Right after, Pablo Picasso was jailed and questioned by the cops, but was released rapidly.

It took about 2 years up until the mystery was fixed by the Parisian authorities. It turned out that the 30 × 21 inch painting was taken by among the museum workers by the name of Vincenzo Peruggia, who simply 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 out by an art faker who intended to make copies and offer them as if they were the original painting.

While Yves Chaudron, the art faker, was hectic producing copies for the popular masterpiece, Mona Lisa was still concealed at Peruggias apartment or condo. After two years where Peruggia did not speak with Chaudron, he aimed to make the best out of his taken great. Eventually, Peruggia was captured by the authorities while trying to offer the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The Mona Lisa was returned to the Louver in 1913.

The Biggest Theft in the USA:
The greatest art theft in United States took location at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. On the night of March 18, 1990, a group of burglars wearing cops uniforms broke into the museum and took thirteen paintings whose cumulative value was estimated at around 300 million dollars. The burglars took two paintings and one print by Rembrandt, and works of Vermeer, Manet, Degas, Govaert Flinck, as well as a French and a Chinese artifact.

As of yet, none of the paintings have actually been discovered and the case is still unsolved. According to recent reports, the FBI are investigating the possibility that the Boston Mob in addition to French art dealers are linked to the crime.

The Scream:
The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most searched for painting by art burglars in history. It has been taken two times and was only recently recuperated. In 1994, throughout the Winter 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 stating: thanks for the poor security.

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

While Museum authorities waiting for the thieves to demand ransom money, reports claimed that both paintings were burned to conceal proof. Ultimately, the Norwegian cops found the 2 paintings on August 31, 2006 however the realities on how they were recuperated are not understood.


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 popular paintings in the world and one of the most famous artists in history as a suspect. The criminal offense was carefully conducted by a notorious con man, Eduardo de Valfierno, who was sent out by an art faker who meant to make copies and sell them as if they were the initial painting.

Eventually, Peruggia was caught by the authorities while trying to offer the painting to an art dealership from Florence, Italy. The painting by Edvard Munchs, The Scream, is probably the most Kurt Criter Denver sought after painting by art burglars in history.

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